Kilojoules are on the menu

Many fast food and snack food outlets in the ACT are required to display the energy content in kilojoules (kJ) of food and drinks, making it easier for Canberrans to make healthier choices when eating out.

Many of us underestimate how many kilojoules are contained in the food and drinks we consume when out and about.  Some fast food meals contain over half the kilojoules needed for an entire day.

What are kilojoules?

Kilojoules are a measure of how much energy a person gets from consuming a food or drink. We need energy to fuel our bodies and be physically active.

Knowing the number of kilojoules in a food or drink can help us to eat the right amount of energy for our needs.  If we eat more than we need, this can lead to weight gain.

How many kilojoules do I need?

Achieving or maintaining a healthy weight is about balancing the energy we take in and the energy we burn

Our kilojoule requirements vary based on things like age, gender and physical activity levels, but the average daily intake for an adult is 8700kJ.

Find out your healthy daily kilojoule intake

How can I tell the number of kilojoules a food or drink contains?

Many fast food and snack food outlets in the ACT have been required to display kilojoule information on their menus since 1 January 2013.

When purchasing from these outlets, look for the kilojoule menu displays to help you make a healthier choice.  As a general guide, look for lower kilojoule options or try a smaller portion size. 

For packaged food and drinks, look for the nutrition panel on the label for information, including the amount of kilojoules the product contains. 

To learn more on how to understand food labels, follow this link to the Eat for Health website.

Check out the Kilojoules on the menu resources and links below. Campaign materials adapted and reproduced by ACT Health with permission.

Information on kilojoule displays in ACT food businesses