The food-service industry, dietary guidelines and change

Robert G. Hughes, Philip W.J. Harvey, Peter F. Heywood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The influence of the food-service industry on compliance with the Australian dietary guidelines was investigated through three separate methods of data collection and analysis: a telephone survey of 1683 randomly selected Brisbane residents; telephone interviews with 69 food-service-industry operators and 10 face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders in industry and government. Nearly 40 per cent of respondents had consumed foods prepared by the food-service industry at least once on the day before the interview, mainly from restaurants, cafes and takeaway shops, in the form of fast-food or snacks. Consumption of these foods declined with age. Those consuming foods prepared by the food-service industry ate significantly less fruit, vegetables and dairy food and were therefore less likely to comply with the dietary guidelines. Outcomes from interviews with operators in the food-service industry show that food choices offered to consumers were the result of a dynamic interaction between consumer demand and operators' own tastes and perceptions of food quality. Key informant interviews show that public health nutrition programs will have limited effect without supportive environmental changes in the food-service industry supply. An effective means of increasing the likelihood of compliance with the Australian dietary guidelines will be to encouraee food suppliers in ways that address their core business concerns simultane- ously with the goals of health professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-544
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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