Pizza Hut, The Sodium King Of The Restaurant World… And That’s Not Good

This is one category in which leading the world is a bad thing.

In a report published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Pizza Hut has the saltiest pizza available (the thin n’ crispy meat lovers pizza). The biggest issue, however, is that similar Pizza Hut pizzas made in the United States are considerably higher in sodium content than Canada and New Zealand.

The study starts by comparing the five pizza types that are available in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. However, in New Zealand, some of these pizza types are seasonal or occasional: the Veggie Lover’s pan pizza, the Pepperoni pan pizza, the Veggie Lover’s thin n’ crispy pizza, and the Meat Lover’s thin n’ crispy.

The organization called World Action on Salt Health gathered the data for the study from the Pizza Hut corporate websites from the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. Other restaurant and store brands were investigated, but a lack of comparable product would not allow for a proper test result.

The test concluded that one slice of Veggie Lover’s Pan Pizza from the United States has 3.5 times as much sodium than a piece of the same pizza from Canada. On an ounce-for-ounce basis for the same pizza, the United States pizza has 2.4 times the sodium content than the Canadian equivalent. Also, the United States pizza slice is 40 percent larger than the Canadian equivalent.

The Huffington Post is reporting that overly salty prepared foods are quite proliferate. The report has found that one large Meat Lover’s thin n’ crispy pizza contains almost 9.4 mg sodium — that’s four times the daily allowance for sodium. It has also been discovered that Pizza Hut pizzas contain 70 percent more sodium than a Pizza Hut Canadian or New Zealand pizza.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal did a study which found that American food tended to be saltier than foods in other countries. It seems that the processes used to prepare the food increase the sodium spike. However, refinements in the production stages could help eliminate more of the sodium from Stateside foods.

The reason Pizza Hut was singled out was the disparity between similar pizzas in different countries.

“If Pizza Hut can serve less salty pizzas to their customers in Canada and New Zealand, the company should be able to slash salt levels in the American versions of the same — and all its other — pizzas,” said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

[Image courtesy of TX Natural Pediatrics]