Heart Foundation says pizza makers “mislead” consumers

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 20th January 2014
Heart Foundation: Pizza makers "mislead" consumers

An analysis of takeaway pizzas, including those from major Australian chains, supermarkets and gourmet independent outlets, showed more than half of the pizzas tested had more salt, sugar or fat in their products than stated on the company’s nutritional panels, according to the National Heart Foundation.

The sampling of 174 pizzas was undertaken by the Local Health Authorities Analytical Committee, which works with local governments in Western Australia (WA).

Pizzas produced by the major franchise operators Domino’s, Eagle Boys and Pizza Hut, as well as independent or boutique outlets were analysed. Frozen pizza products (such as McCains, Emilia, Dr Oetker, When in Rome and Woolworths and Coles own-brand products) were also included, with samples collected from various supermarket outlets.

The National Heart Foundation of Australia said the results show people were consuming more kilojoules than they are aware of.

“These junk food providers are making it difficult for the community to address the growing epidemic of obesity among adults in Australia,” said Maurice Swanson, Heart Foundation WA Chief Executive. “The saturated fat and high salt levels in these popular junk food products mean people who eat them regularly are increasing their risk of obesity, heart attacks or strokes,” he said

Mr Swanson said the Heart Foundation’s WA anti-obesity campaign LiveLighter urged pizza companies to provide accurate and reliable nutrition information panels as part of food packaging and labelling.

“The LiveLighter campaign is encouraging consumers to make their own pizzas or choose healthier take-away alternatives where they can select their ingredients and control the levels of salt, sugar and fat,” Mr Swanson said.

The results are available on the committee’s website.