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Logo of bmcphBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Public Health
 
BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 559.
Published online Jul 27, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-559
PMCID: PMC3490731
International collaborative project to compare and track the nutritional composition of fast foods
, The Food Monitoring Group edunford@georgeinstitute.org.au
1Global Database Manager, The George Institute for Global Health, PO Box M201, Missenden Rd, Camperdown, NSW, 2050, Australia
Received May 15, 2012; Accepted July 12, 2012.
Abstract
Background
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of premature death and disability in the world with over-nutrition a primary cause of diet-related ill health. Excess quantities of energy, saturated fat, sugar and salt derived from fast foods contribute importantly to this disease burden. Our objective is to collate and compare nutrient composition data for fast foods as a means of supporting improvements in product formulation.
Methods/design
Surveys of fast foods will be done in each participating country each year. Information on the nutrient composition for each product will be sought either through direct chemical analysis, from fast food companies, in-store materials or from company websites. Foods will be categorized into major groups for the primary analyses which will compare mean levels of saturated fat, sugar, sodium, energy and serving size at baseline and over time. Countries currently involved include Australia, New Zealand, France, UK, USA, India, Spain, China and Canada, with more anticipated to follow.
Discussion
This collaborative approach to the collation and sharing of data will enable low-cost tracking of fast food composition around the world. This project represents a significant step forward in the objective and transparent monitoring of industry and government commitments to improve the quality of fast foods.
Keywords: Food composition database, Food industry, Fast food, Monitoring
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