The campaign is aimed at promoting a better understanding of the potential impact of excess kilojoules on Queenslanders’ health.

It was launched ahead of legislation that came into effect at the weekend making it mandatory for certain takeaway outlets to display kilojoule counts.

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said ensuring people had a clear understanding about what kilojoules were and how many should be consumed was very important.

“Research suggests that Queenslanders currently have a very low awareness and understanding of kilojoules and personal energy requirements,” Mr Dick said.

“But, I know many people are hungry to learn about healthy eating and this campaign feeds that hunger for knowledge.

“Kilojoules are the measure of how much energy people get from consuming food and drink; it’s the energy your body needs to function.

“There’s enough energy in some fast food meals to drive a car almost six kilometres.

“The campaign and legislation is about helping people make healthy and informed choices.

“Two-thirds of adults and one-quarter of children in Queensland are either overweight or obese and a common contributing factor is foods with a high kilojoule count, such as takeaway food.

“I’ll be the first to admit I like to indulge in a burger meal occasionally, but there are some changes I can and do make so the meal is healthier, like swapping soft drink for water or dropping the fries altogether.”

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Clinical Dietitian Hilary Jimmieson said reducing the kilojoules people ate and drank everyday or doing more daily exercise could make a difference.

“Most people know that the body naturally burns energy when you undertake any sort of activity, from playing sport to doing house work,” Ms Jimmieson said.

“But if you consume more kilojoules than your body burns in a day, the unused kilojoules are stored as fat and can contribute to weight gain and in the long-term, this may even lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

“Small changes are simple and achievable; look for lower kilojoule options, try a smaller portion size, or re-think those sides.

“The average daily energy intake in Australia is 8,700kJs. But we’re all different. The number of kilojoules you need will vary depending on your age, gender, weight and level of physical activity. I recommend the Healthier. Happier. online calculator to find out your healthy daily kilojoule intake.”

The new legislation requires takeaway chains with at least 20 outlets in Queensland or 50 outlets nationally to display the average kilojoule content of food and drinks on their menus.

The campaign will run until mid-April across radio, out of home and digital channels, with additional content and videos hosted on the Healthier. Happier. website.

Find out your healthy daily kilojoule intake and see the video at healthier.qld.gov.au.

FAST FACTS:

In 2016, an estimated 1.1 million adults were obese and 1.2 million were overweight.
In 2016, an estimated 59,000 children were obese and 158,000 were overweight.
Two-thirds (64%) of Queensland adults are either overweight or obese.
A quarter (26%) of Queensland children are either overweight or obese.
About 1 in 14 Queensland children was obese in 2016, compared with about 1 in 50 some 30 years ago. For adults, 3 in 10 are obese compared with about 1 in 10 in the early 90s.
Queensland is the second highest of the jurisdictions in Australia for adult obesity.
In 2011, for Australia, high body mass accounted for 11,564 deaths (7.9% of all deaths) and an estimated 2300 were Queenslanders (1 in 12 deaths was due to obesity).

Source: Queensland Government

Recipes & colour recipe wheel, guides, kilojoule tracker, kilojoule calculator, fruit and veg seasonality calendar, meal and exercise planner, support and much more visit Healthier. Happier website.