95% of APAC residents support new measures to tackle obesity

Residents believe fast food companies can play a bigger role in public health

YouGov, an online research firm, polled over 9,000 residents across APAC to explore how people view fast food and obesity. While there is overwhelming support for greater action to curb the obesity epidemic, fast food continues to be a firm favourite with consumers across the region. Despite health warnings, only 7% of respondents dislike fast food.

Of all the delicious feasts on offer, the most popular type of fast food in APAC is fried chicken, favoured by 34% of those polled. Pizza and burgers also score highly, chosen by 28% and 20% of people respectively. Preference of fast food is the same across APAC except for Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines, where people prefer pizza over fried chicken.

The popularity of fast foods and their wide options have led some to question the fast food industry’s role in the obesity crisis. Four-fifths of those polled (81%) believe that fast food contributes to obesity. Moreover, 64% believe fast food chains bear some responsibility for consumers’ health.

Asked about a range of possible measures to tackle obesity, the ideas that attract the broadest support are: to increase the number of low fat options available to consumers; to limit the amount of fat in foods that fast food chains are allowed to sell; and to make more information available about what is in fast food. Each of these proposals is supported by half of those polled in APAC (50%).

Other popular measures include forcing fast food companies to make mandatory contributions to the healthcare system (supported by 39% of those polled); an increase in public/private partnerships to support healthy eating (supported by 38%); and encouraging fast food companies to make voluntary contributions to the healthcare system (30%).

Overall, just 5% of those polled would not like to see any of the above options introduced, indicating that there is widespread support for action on obesity.

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