Pizza─ Cheesy Salt 

  • Pizza is an important source of excess sodium intake. There is a huge difference in sodium content of pizza by the manufacturer as well as the country even by the same manufacturer.
  • The World Health Organization recommends a sodium intake of 2000mg/day (5g of salt) and the American Heart Association recommends 1500mg/day (4g of salt).
  • New research, carried out by World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) as part of World Salt Awareness Week (21st – 27th March), identified that in some countries, people are being fed over twice as much salt as people elsewhere in the world.
  • WASH surveyed the salt and sodium content of over 500 pizza products available around the world from well known international pizza outlets such as Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Eagle Boys, and Papa John’s, as well as those available in supermarkets and grocery stores.
  • A 150g portion of pizza from a well known pizza manufacturer in Costa Rica is twice as salty as sea-water, containing shocking 3500mg sodium, which is 8 times higher than a UK supermarket equivalent, (Tesco’s’ Margherita pizza) which contained just 450mg sodium/150g.
  • Pizza hut meat lovers pizza contain as much as 3g of salt per portion or 1500mg sodium per 150g.
  • Even identical pizza products made by the same company were found to contain wide variations in sodium content. For example, a Hawaiian pizza from Pizza Hut in New Zealand contains 1365mg sodium per 150g; over twice as much sodium compared to the same pizza from Pizza Hut in Canada (647mg sodium per 150g).
  • The same can be said for pizzas from Dominos, with a Hawaiian pizza bought from Dominos in the USA containing 1455mg sodium/150g, more than double the sodium compared to a Hawaiian pizza bought in the UK with 600mg sodium/150g.
  • The fact that some pizza manufacturers are able to produce pizzas with low levels of sodium demonstrates that there are no technical reasons why other pizza manufacturers are still producing pizzas with significantly higher levels of sodium, especially in light of the number of worldwide strategies to reduce sodium.
  • Although the sodium content of pizza is substantially lower in the UK, British men currently eat about 10g of salt a day, the equivalent to 365 pints of salt (164 kg) in a life time, with young men eating even more.

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