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Junk food tops supermarket catalogues

Junk food tops supermarket catalogues
Photo: Junk food tops supermarket catalogues
Australian supermarkets heavily promote unhealthy foods in their catalogues, say obesity prevention researchers.

Australian supermarkets are putting the junk in their junk mail, say obesity prevention researchers.

Two-thirds of the food advertised in the catalogues of the nation's four leading chains were not among the five core foods recommended for a healthy diet, the Deakin University analysis found.

The university's WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention analysed the content of Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA catalogues over 12 weeks.

"The results of this study suggest that supermarket catalogues contribute towards an environment that supports unhealthy eating behaviour," said the centre's Dr Adrian Cameron.

"A clear opportunity exists for supermarkets to be part of the solution to the growing burden of diet-related disease by having their catalogues promote healthier foods."
The study, published in the journal Health Promotion International, groups the products into four categories based on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

* daily essentials such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, grains and water
* discretionary foods to be eaten only occasionally including soft drinks, confectionary and chocolate, chips, processed meats, jams, and cordial
* alcohol
* others including tea, coffee, sauces, salt, infant food products, spices

* 34.2 per cent in the recommended core food group
* 43.3 discretionary foods
* 8.5 alcohol
* 14 other


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