Australia Is The Fourth Fattest Nation On Earth; Pizza Hut Launches Cheeseburger-Stuffed Crust
They're calling it "one of Pizza Hut's most innovative and exciting new product moves." We're calling it irresponsible marketing to disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.
In October last year, the National Health Reporting Authority found 10.8 million Australians, or 63% of the population, to be overweight or obese. In November, Australia barged over Canada to become the fourth fattest nation on Earth. Obesity — a leading cause of diabetes and cardiovascular disease — was found in 28.3% of Australian adults: an epidemic particularly prevalent among the socioeconomically disadvantaged, which the OECD believes is set to rise across all age groups over the next decade.
In February this year, the Australian Heart Foundation released data showing that the weight of an average Australian adult had increased by 5.7kgs over the past 25 years, with the proportion of obese adults tripling since 1980.
These are just a few numbers to keep in your head as you cast your eyes over a new product that hits Pizza Huts across Australia today: the Cheeseburger Crust Pizza.
The crust will set you back an extra $3, and involves eight beef patties, one for each slice, covered with what the manufacturer claims to be cheddar cheese. The press release which announced it this morning calls it “one of Pizza Hut’s most innovative and exciting new product moves.”
For a more accurate description, see Jay Rayner’s review for The Guardian UK: “A soft doughy base as sodden and limp as a baby’s nappy after it’s been worn for 10 hours. There is a scab of waxy cheese and flaps of pink salami the colour, worryingly, of a three-year-old girl’s party dress,” he writes. “When I prise out one of the mini burgers, the greasy, insipid dough beneath looks like the white flesh of an open wound that’s been hidden under a plaster.”
The pizza, which contains close to 3000 calories, was preceded by Pizza Hut’s infamous hot dog-stuffed crust experiment; it debuted in the Middle East last year before moving to England, where it re-launched over the weekend with an added bacon bonus. (Apparently even America doesn’t want a bar of it.)
The pizza is being pushed by Australian brand ambassador Charlie Clifton, who apparently “beat more than 280 other applicants” for the honour. 280, incidentally, is just under the amount of calories in each slice.
It’s clearly doing wonders for the company’s PR.