Making a difference one pizza at a time

sfoisy's picture
Posted by sfoisy on 2010-11-22 10:29

As a dietitian I sometimes get asked why I have decided to work with restaurants to help them offer healthier items on their menus. Especially pizza restaurants. Shouldn’t I just be telling people not to eat pizza? And shouldn’t I just be telling people to cook from scratch and eat all of their meals at home? 
In fact I do this. I encourage people to plan and shop for meals, and prepare them at home. This is something almost all of us could, and should, do more of. But the reality is Canadians eat out. A lot. About one of every ten meals we eat comes from a restaurant. According to Stats Can one in four Canadians consume an item from a fast food restaurant daily. And what are we choosing? About 40% of the time either a sandwich, hamburger, hot dog or pizza. Pizza is not a surprising choice. It is delicious and readily available. There are 7500 pizza restaurant operators in Canada and thousands of restaurants include pizza on their menus. In 2002 alone there were more than 351 million pizza transactions in Canadian restaurants. Thatsa lotta pizza.
So along with encouraging Canadians to cook as often as they can, and trying to make a difference this way, I also want to be practical. A big part of working in health promotion is meeting people where they are. If I can help people make healthy eating choices when they are eating out, then I have definitely made a difference. By working with restaurants to get some healthier items on their menus and identifying these healthier items for customers I have the opportunity to help a lot of people. And as a dietitian, this is an opportunity I don’t want to miss.
Samara Foisy, RD

Comments 2

Glad to see you are working hard to help us eat healthier when dining out. Samara, I am one those many Canadians that love pizza. What can I do to make a healthier choice when ordering pizza for my family!!!!!!! Thanks!!!!!!!!

I think this is absolutely right. Left to themselves, fast food restaurants will not make their food healthier.