Given the rate at which a growing number of Australians are eating themselves to death, anything that might help reverse the rising tide of obesity in this nation deserves serious consideration.
A suggestion by researchers from the George Institute of Global Health and The Cancer Council, NSW, that the star based health rating used on packaged foods sold in supermarkets be extended to fast food chains is an example of this.
When researchers applied the same standards to offerings from outlets such as Gloria Jeans, Muffin Break, McCafe, Oporto and Subway the results were disconcerting. More than 41 per cent of Muffin Break's menu items scored less than 1.5 stars out of a possible five.
One, the coconut slice, contained more than half an individual's recommended daily energy intake.
While the average shopper in search of a cup of coffee and a sugar hit might rightly guess the tempting item is not a health food, they would not necessarily know it contained more calories than a roast dinner with vegies.
This is valuable information. As of last year 63.4 per cent, or almost two in every three, Australian adults were overweight or obese.
Given this rose from 61.2 per cent in 2007-2008 and 56.3 per cent in 1995, the trend is not our friend. The average adult male is now almost four kilograms heavier than two decades ago.
The problem is worst among men with almost 72 per cent officially overweight or obese compared to 56.3 per cent for women. More than one in four children aged between five and 17 fall into the same category.
As the growth in the national waistline has coincided with a significant expansion in the variety and number of fast food outlets over the last two to three decades any steps that would encourage healthier behaviours, both on the part of the restaurants and their customers, have to be welcomed.
As of 2016 Australians made 51.5 million visits to fast food outlets a month. The leaders were, in order of popularity, McDonalds, Subway, Hungry Jacks and Domino's Pizza.
If every time you walked into your favourite fast food restaurant you were confronted with signage stating more than half the items on the menu fell into an unhealthy category you might reconsider your habits.
Some of the fast food chains might even rethink the health value of the items they choose to offer for sale.
While it is a given the industry will do its best to kill off this proposal before it gains traction, rightly arguing there are problems with the way star ratings are determined, this should not be the end of the matter.
It is worth the effort to develop a consistent and reliable system that can deliver. The health of the nation is at stake.