A COLES shopper has shared an eye-opening video on social media of all the junk food promoted at the end of the supermarket's aisles, writing: "No wonder we have an obesity epidemic!!"
Jessica Lowe, who runs the Happy Healthy Nutrition Facebook and Instagram pages, said the deals on unhealthy food "frustrated" her.
"I can't believe the crap that is put on all of the promotional ends!" wrote the nutritionist. "I use to work in retail sales so I know all about promo ends being where consumers shop from and so do the supermarkets, which is exactly why they put high profit items on ends without considering what they are promoting."
She said she walked around the supermarket before capturing the 15-second video, and couldn't find a single healthy item at the ends of aisles.
"This is why we have an obesity epidemic in Australia and the world!" she added. "Seriously I know this is an over the top rant but the supermarket giants need to become a bit more ethical and stop thinking so much about profits- what is life without health!
"The reason these processed foods are on sale with 20% off, 25% or even 50% off is because the food is crap so even when the supermarkets knock the price down by 50% they still make huge profits! It's not expensive to put processed crap in a box!"
She explained that she wasn't "a saint" and treats were fine "now and then", but believed the "visible abundance" of processed foods was simply encouraging people to buy more of it.
Jessica said that now she was a mother she was even more passionate about sharing her advice on leading a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, and helping to stop the "brainwashing" of the next generation.
While some claim it is expensive to eat healthier foods, Jessica claims this is a myth and that this type of promotion fuels that "misinformed excuse".
The new mum said she and her husband only spent $500 a month on food and eat very healthily - it just requires shopping locally or at markets for fresh fruit and vegetables and actually cooking.
"It costs a lot more to drink soda than it does to drink water and eating poor quality food leaves you feeling dissatisfied which results in eating more because your body craves real nutrients..... real food!" she concluded.
Should supermarkets curb the promotion of unhealthy food?
A recent report by the Global Obesity Centre at Deakin University put Australia's four largest supermarkets under the microscope looking at the nutritional value of private label products, clear nutrition labelling, and the promotion of junk food and confectionery-free check-outs.
Woolworths scored best, followed by Coles, then Aldi, then IGA. "The vast majority of Australians buy their food at supermarkets, and the way these shops are set up can heavily influence what we buy, said lead author, Associate Professor Gary Sacks. But he said Coles and Woolies shouldn't be too smug at beating IGA and Aldi.
"The top scoring supermarket only got 46 out of 100 which is only a passing grade and they could be doing a whole lot more," he said.
He said all supermarkets were guilty of packing their catalogues with calorie and fat packed foods.
"It's fine to have a bit of junk food in the catalogues, but it's about balance and at the moment unhealthy food dominates what's on special."
Coles and Woolworths were both praised for voluntarily rolling out the Government's Health Star Rating system on their own products.
A spokesman Coles said more than 1550 products carry the Star Ratings but called out the report for not taking into account the role of exercise in a healthy lifestyle. As such, its program to give sports equipment to schools, a similar scheme of which operates in Woolworths, was not judged.
"As a member of the Food and Health Dialogue round table, Coles worked with food industry stakeholders to reduce the levels of salt in foods such as breads, cereals and cheese, and as part of the Healthy Food Partnership we are working with food manufacturers to formulate new, lower nutrition targets for sugar and saturated fat," he said.
News.com.au has contacted Coles for comment.