kilojoules on the menu

It can sometimes be a challenge to balance family, friends, socialising, work and finding time to cook a healthy meal. Like many Australians, you may find yourself grabbing a quick meal or a bite to eat while you’re on the go. To help you stay healthy the Victorian Government has introduced kilojoule labelling laws in large chain food outlets and supermarkets.

The new laws mean you will see the energy (or kilojoule) content of take-away and ready-to-eat food and drinks on menus and food tags at many of your favourite food outlets.

Kilojoules, also known as kJ, are like calories – they measure how much energy people get from consuming a food or drink. The average daily adult energy intake is 8,700 kJ, but a single take-away meal could contain 5,000 kJ. That’s more than half of an adult’s daily intake. Without knowing the energy content of food, many people are eating far too many kJ without realising it.

To maintain body weight you need to aim for your energy intake (food and drink) to equal your energy output (physical activity). If we consume more kJ than our bodies use, the spare energy is stored as fat and we will put on weight.

With more information about kJ content and daily intake, Victorians can build healthy food habits and live longer, healthier lives.

So next time you’re grabbing a take-away meal consider your options - often there’s a healthier lower kJ choice. Small changes can make a big difference.

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