Australia’s Unhealthiest Fast Food Franchises, Ranked

Australia’s Unhealthiest Fast Food Franchises, Ranked
Image: iStock

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!

[polldaddy poll=10016854]

[Via SMH]

This story has been updated since its original publication.


  • Why does Australia need to ‘fix’ everything for people by taxing, governing or putting the onus on everyone except the person using said product.

    Can people not be made responsible for their own choices rather than impact everyone in society?

    Won’t the issue sort itself out soon enough?

    • Our taxpayer-funded healthcare system would be the main reason. There’s a flow-on effect from parents to their children too, since obese parents are more likely to have obese children and so on.

      There’s also impacts on productivity to consider as well I think.

    • Because people can’t be responsible for their choices, and the impact of said choices, if they are not educated or informed.
      Knowledge empowers people.

    • 100% agree with you. I hate the government manipulation by taxing things like fast food.

      Though as mentioned, we do have a free health care system. Maybe it needs to be tweaked, If you’re obese (obviously without a medical condition causing the weight issue) you lose priority care? You still get care but you have to wait? Because hey, if you’re not looking after yourself, why should the country?

      • So adult Australians, who are far more likely to be obese if they were overweight as children, should be discriminated against in the health system by being made to wait while slim people are treated before them? In other words, if the consequences of the food choices that their parents made for them when they were too young to understand the concept of nutrition weren’t bad enough ie. a lifetime of obesity, you’d compound that by delaying medical care as well. And just to be clear, some people would die while waiting for medical attention that could have otherwise saved them. I hope you’d agree that when the cause of obesity is properly apportioned a scheme like the one you suggest is more than just a little unjust. You need to break the cycle of obesity by making it harder for parents to condemn their children to a (most likely significantly shorter) lifetime of unnecessary hardship and medical complications by turning them into pre-pubescent fatties.

        • Very interesting! My thoughts are not complete on the matter, you bring up good points.

          One thing I am certain off is that taxing something excessively to try and make people use it less (or really its just the government cashing in on addictions knowing people will buy it no matter the cost) is a MASSIVE no for me. its government greed and manipulation at its finest.

          For me, its not okay to make everyone pay more for unhealthy food because some people cant control themselves. But even more so, if they dont want to control themselves, let them do what they. Their body, their life and its not illegal.

          This then brings in free health care. We either tweak the health care, which i believe we already do for smokers, (i dont see a difference in excessive eating and smoking, both kill you at pretty much the same rate. Its also another product that manipulated through excessive tax rates) OR we just accept the fact that fat people will cost the country more money.

  • I’m gonna call this title misleading, and quite seriously.

    It’s not “Australia’s Unhealthiest Fast Food Franchises, Ranked“, it’s “Australia’s Fast Food Franchises’ Commitment to Nutrition and Obesity Prevention, Ranked

    The title suggests this is a ranking of how healthy each franchise’s food is, whereas it’s more about how well it markets to and informs its customers.

    There is absolutely no way you can tell me KFC is four times healthier than Red Rooster. No way.

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