Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting

Time for a coffee - Nutrient composition of café chain menus (#247)

Wendy L Watson 1 , Sarah Piazza 2 , Lyndal Wellard 1 , Clare Hughes 1 , Kathy Chapman 1
  1. Cancer Programs Division, Cancer Council NSW, Woolloomooloo, NSW, Australia
  2. Discipline of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Molecular Bioscience, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Café foods and drinks can add a significant amount of energy, saturated fat and sodium to the diet and contribute to overweight and obesity. Mandatory energy menu labelling at the point-of-sale has been implemented in NSW café chains with more than 20 outlets in NSW or 50 outlets in Australia. This study investigated the nutrient composition of menu items and the availability of nutrition information in café chains. An in-store observational survey to assess availability of nutrition information was conducted in 20 café chain outlets in Sydney. The Australian websites for each chain were surveyed for nutrition information. The average energy, saturated fat and sodium content of menu items were compared to daily intake reference values and average energy compared to dietary guidelines recommendations for discretionary choices - more than 600kJ per serve. Kilojoule information was widely available in-store. Most food and beverage items sold from the chains surveyed (87%, n=593) would be defined as ‘discretionary choices’. Sixty-two percent provided more than two serves and 37% more than three serves of discretionary choices. The average large, cold, coffee drink contributed 24% and 59% of daily intake for energy and saturated fat respectively. Average contribution of cakes, slices, muffins and loaves was 25% of daily intake for energy. Menu items from café chains may contribute excess energy to daily intakes if consumed in addition to usual intakes. Reduced portion sizes and reformulation of menu items would reduce the impact of fast food on population diet and weight. In the absence of these measures, a social marketing campaign is needed to highlight the contribution that café food makes to daily nutrient intake and encourage consumers to use kilojoule labelling to limit energy intake from these discretionary choices.