Aldi and IGA have received extremely low scores in a new study that assessed the efforts being made by Australia’s top supermarkets to help tackle the obesity crisis.

With two-thirds of Australian adults overweight or obese, researchers at Deakin University’s Global Obesity Centre analysed the obesity prevention and nutrition-related policies and commitments of the four main supermarket chains and gave each a score out of 100.

Woolworths earned 46, while Coles received 40. Aldi and IGA performed poorly, receiving dismal scores of 11 and 8 respectively.

Associate Professor Gary Sacks from Deakin University.

“It was what I expected it to be, I knew Coles and Woolworths were paying some attention to nutrition, while Aldi and IGA really were not, so it wasn’t a surprise,” said lead author Associate Professor Gary Sacks.

Less than 7 per cent of Australians have diets that meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines and one in four children are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of obesity-related diseases such as stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

In the report ‘Inside our Supermarkets’, the authors say all the supermarkets could be doing much more to encourage healthy eating and have urged them to remove confectionery and sugary drinks from checkouts and reduce promotions for junk food, often seen in end-of-aisle displays.

Food manufacturers pay hefty fees to spruik “half-price” deals in highly-prized sections of supermarkets. They are skilled at triggering impulse buys by placing $1 or $2 treats near the checkout.

Originally Published by The Sydney Morning Herald, continue reading here.

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