Deakin University's Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE) released a report ranking Australia's 11 largest fast-food restaurants based on their commitment to healthy eating. In a result that will surprise few people, Domino's Pizza was the worst offender by a significant margin, scoring just 3/100. (Blame the garlic bread.)
As if it wasn't obvious already, GLOBE's 2018 report found that Australia's fast food restaurants aren't doing enough to combat obesity or promote healthy eating. Each company was given a score out of one hundred in areas such as commitment to health in corporate strategy, disclosure of nutritional information and planned reduction of sugar and fat in its menu.
Not a single fast food company managed to pass, although Subway came close with a total score of 48/100. (It lost points for offering free refills on sugary soft drinks.)
As mentioned, Domino's Pizza was the worst offender, with a total score of 3/100. It scored a big fat zero in nearly every category. Ouch. Failure to disclose its approach to health and nutrition was a key factor in the low score.
Surprisingly, the much-maligned McDonald's came in second with a total score of 42 - just six points behind Subway. We were also shocked to see Nando's score lower than KFC - 41 vs 31.
Here's how the 11 outlets fared:
"While some Australian quick service restaurants have taken positive steps as part of a societal response to unhealthy diets and obesity, there is a much greater role for the sector to play," the report concludes.
Echoing the World Health Organisation, GLOBE recommends a range of changes for the Australian fast food industry, including:
- Limiting the levels of salt, free sugars, saturated fat and trans fat in products
- Ensuring that healthy and nutritious choices are available and affordable to all consumers
- Practicing responsible marketing of foods high in salt, free sugars, and unhealthy fats, especially to children
- Providing consumers with clear, easily understood, and evidence-based nutrition information.
It's probably worth mentioning that while the aforementioned franchises are very bad for you, independent fast food outlets are probably worse. Currently, they are not legally obligated to share nutritional information with customers. (This is why your local burger joint doesn't have any kJ numbers on its menu.) As the adage goes, better the devil you know.
We're curious whether GLOBE's cautionary table will affect your dining habits at all. Let us know in the poll below!
This story has been updated since its original publication.