27/02/2012

Average 12 Inch Pizza Can Contain More Than Recommended Daily Calorie Intake

A person eating an 'average' 12 inch size pizza in one sitting can consume more than their entire requirement of calories, saturated fat and salt for a full day according to new research by safefood.

The research is the latest in a series of reviews of takeaway foods and continues safefood’s work in helping consumers make more informed choices when eating food that is prepared outside the home. With 40% of the population eating pizza at least once a week, the research revealed very limited availability of healthier options when ordering takeaway pizza. safefood also found that that over half of people choose a 12 inch pizza and that 1 in 5 were now choosing a 'large' sized pizza.

Commenting on the research, Dr. Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director, Human Health & Nutrition, safefood said: "Size matters when it comes to pizza and we’re tending to choose bigger sized pizzas and more processed meats for toppings. It's also concerning that we don’t realise the high level of calories, salt and saturated fat that we’re consuming in the pizza. And that's before you begin to consider the side orders like chips, wedges and garlic bread that we are frequently tempted to buy to accompany a pizza."

The safefood research, which analysed 240 takeaway pizzas of three varieties from 60 different outlets also found limited availability of healthier options across pizza outlets, with only 10% of those surveyed offering options such as lower-fat cheese, thin pizza base or additional vegetable toppings. Only 7 % offered children’s size options.

In general, pizzas from take away outlets were higher in calories, salt and fat when compared to the equivalent shop bought pizza. Thin based pizza types were found to be the healthiest across all outlets whereas deep base pizzas were found to contribute significantly more calories per pizza.

(CD/GK)

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