3. Nutrition & Healthy Eating

Nutrition Take Out series – pizza, burgers and Chinese takeaways

Project Reference:




Commencement Date:

December, 2010

Project Duration:

20 months


This project aimed to provide up-to-date information on the nutrient content of takeaway foods. Demand for takeaway foods has been primarily driven by current social and economic trends such as the increase in the number of women in the work place, the move away from the traditional evening meal and a rise in disposable income levels.

The ethnic takeaways and burger bar segments account for the majority of the growth which the overall market has been experiencing. There is an established link between diet and health with fast foods contributing higher levels of salt and fat compared to traditional home cooked meals. Heavy salt and saturated fat consumption is associated with high blood pressure leading to strokes and heart attacks which together are the single highest cause of death in Ireland.

In order to provide up-to-date information on the nutrient content and for the specific purposes of this study, beef burgers, pizza and Chinese food (from a selection of catering outlets) was collected on a phased basis and the nutritional composition determined.

Principal Contractor(s):

Dr Fidelma Kirwan, Eolas International Research Ltd., Co. Cork


Food Analytical Laboratories, Oxford Road, Stoke-on-Trent

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Belfast



Pizza – What’s in that box?

What’s in that bun?

What’s in your Chinese takeaway?