People often fail to adhere to food-related health information. Increasing evidence suggests that environmental stimuli interfere with good intentions by triggering choices relatively automatically. Using a Pavlovian-instrumental transfer (PIT) task, we examined whether food-associated stimuli reduce health warnings’ effectiveness. We expected that people adhere to health warnings in the absence, but not presence, of food-associated stimuli.

The impact of children’s fast food meals on their daily nutritional requirements has not been assessed in Australia. Analysis of the nutritional composition of children’s meals from six fast food chains was conducted. The energy, saturated fat, sugar and sodium content of all children’s meals from the chains were assessed against the fast food industry-defined nutrient criteria for healthy meals and children’s recommended daily nutritional requirements, as defined by the Nutrient Reference Values and the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia.

With more consumers purchasing meals outside the home, fast food products contribute substantially to daily energy intakes. Improving the nutrient composition of fast food would have significant health benefits. Nutrient content data for menu items provided by nine companies representing >90% of the fast food market in Australia were collected. Mean nutrient levels were compared between product categories and compared to currently accepted criteria for healthy foods. The majority of fast food products did not meet criteria for healthy options.