“Tick of Approval” Now More Credible.

Those who are aware of the PAFC’s real, non-superhero identity will know that she is NOT a fan of fast food. She thinks it is a waste of ingredients, not to mention incredibly poor for your health.

So when I stumbled across this article, I simply HAD to share it and my thoughts about it.

So, previously a company could approach the Heart Foundation and pay a sum of money in order to have their “Tick of Approval” placed on their food. This had been going on for five years, the first being a McDonald’s meal that was given approval for the Tick.

The main argument against the scheme is that it shields fast food outlets from actual.y making their food more healthy across the board. I completely agree with this argument, personally. Unfortunately, people are far too easily led into the false thinking that just because it has a picture saying it’s healthy, that must mean it is. Rather than checking the actual content statistics, a picture replaces real thought.

The Heart Foundation comes back at this notion by saying that they do actually check content and then have them independently checked in such fields as “…saturated fat, salt and kilojoules and making sure there is … healthier nutrients like calcium and fibre.” They also claim in the past 5 years, there have been big changes in awareness of healthier ingredients available to the fast food industry.

So what does this all mean to the average person looking for a healthier option?

For starters, it means you’ll have to be more aware of what it is you’re ordering. You will have to actually think about where it is you’re heading for food, their reputation for healthiness (I mean, let’s face it, NO ONE can say that fast food in general has the reputation of being truly healthy), and what your nutrition requirements (PDF)  actually are. In short, you’re going to have to think about your food. What a novel concept!

This means that fast food outlets are going to have to check their menu options and adjust them drastically if they still want the “health conscious” punters out there to buy their food. Mind you, I do think that people who go to fast food outlets looking for a healthy option are just kidding themselves in the first place.

In the end, we are all going to have to stop relying on little pictures to help us make educated food choices and start doing the real thinking for ourselves.

(Image Courtesy of The Heart Foundation : http://www.heartfoundation.org.au)

***UPDATE***

I was looking for further information I could post on here, as per the suggestions of one of my university tutor’s. I came upon the McDonald’s website  where you can plainly see that they are still advertising meals that are STILL marked with the Heart Foundation’s “Tick of Approval”. I have emailed the Foundation, asking how this can be if they have retracted the offer, but have not, as yet, heard anything back. Stay tuned dear reader. I shall find out what is going on with this.

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