Experts Are Calling For Grocery Chains To Remove All Junk Food From Checkouts

Is it time we cut the junk?

Experts Are Calling For Grocery Chains To Remove All Junk Food From Checkouts

Experts are calling for supermarket giants to remove all junk food and soft drinks from check outs.

A first of its kind study, conducted by the Global Obesity Centre at Deakin University has assessed the nutrition policies of Australia's major supermarkets, and thinks they could do a lot more to address obesity.

"Unhealthy diets and obesity are leading contributors to poor health in Australia," lead author Associate Professor Gary Sacks said.

"Tackling the issue requires a comprehensive societal response, including government policy and wide-scale action from the food industry, which includes our supermarkets."

The researchers rated local grocery chains on six areas of their practices.

Woolworths ranked the highest, scoring 46 out of 100, while IGA scored just eight points.

Woolworths was ranked “okay” for their commitment to rolling-out the government’s Health Star Rating system but the researchers found they also heavily promoted unhealthy food.

"The end-of-aisle displays are typically filled with unhealthy products, it's just chocolate and soft drinks at the checkouts; so it's just really hard to stick to a nice healthy basket of food when you are surrounded by all of that."

"While the report highlights some of the progress we have made, we do acknowledge there is more we can do," Ms Peters said in a statement.

"We note that the report does not take account of the important role of exercise in a healthy lifestyle," a Coles spokesperson said in a statement.

"Several UK supermarkets have committed to provide healthy checkouts, with no chocolates, soft drinks or lollies on display," said Prof Sacks.