Low price high priority in junk food fix
PRICE, not calorie labelling, is what sways Queenslanders’ choice of fast food.
Research that shows a fat tax on junk products is likely to have an effect on the state’s obesity crisis will be presented to the Australasian Society of Behavioural and Health Medicine and APS College of Health Psychologists conference this week.
Legislation was introduced in March for mandatory nutritional menu labelling. Energy content of food and drinks is now displayed in takeaway chains that have at least 20 outlets in the state or 50 nationally.
The new paper from the Department of Psychology at Bond University delved into people’s motivation for buying energy- dense foods and found that, regardless of whether a label outlined the calorie loading or included the physical activity needed to burn off the kilojoules, it was simply low prices that had the most appeal.
“Governments are likely to face the same issues with fat tax that they did with cigarette tax,” researcher Brett Carter said. “It is certainly not a popular option but these early findings show that, when it comes to psychology ... cheap prices are the big drawcard.”