Thursday, January 19, 2012

Does More Information Lead to Healthier Life Choices?

The following is a guest blog entry.

One thing we are not in want of these days is information. Through the internet you can find out just about anything about everything – so long as you know where to look. When it comes to public health awareness such technology couldn't be more priceless. The ability for individuals to research health and medical topics is groundbreaking in that while doctors and other medical professionals are as necessary as ever, they decreasingly need to be tasked with answering questions and can instead focus more on finding the most appropriate cure. Meanwhile, members of the public can spend less money on reassurances that they are in fact not dying of cancer, at least not anytime soon.

But when it comes to such knowledge playing a part in preventive measures and thus improving the quality of life for people, it does not seem as though access to health information makes much of a difference. Amidst the advent of the Internet, this country has only seen easily-preventable illnesses skyrocket and easily-treatable afflictions increasingly be left untreated due to rising costs. Take diabetes for example. Despite type 1 diabetes news and updates, as well as more than enough information covering type 2, the symptoms of the former are more commonly being ignored due to rising healthcare costs while the latter is occurring in record numbers because individuals do not see the writing on the wall about their own health. On the surface, online sources of information such as DiabeticConnect.com don't seem to work as ideally as they ought to be.

Yet ask medical experts and researchers what the problem is when it comes to American healthcare and they'll likely tell you that it's a lack of public awareness regarding health information. Such is the reason why the majority of 2010 healthcare reform law was written as to assign the government a stronger role in public health awareness. The theory goes that once people are able to have enhanced access to health and medical information, they'll be less likely to wait till their maladies become costly before getting help and much more likely to prevent such health problems altogether.

Medical professionals across the country are eager to see such long-awaited awareness efforts put into action on a governmental scale. But aren't we forgetting the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans have had immediate home-based access to health knowledge for years? We've had the information right in front of us thanks to the web, yet we seem to carry on living the unhealthy lives that we do until the day comes when our bad habits transform into a $70,000 emergency surgery.

With that said, the entirety of health related information that can be found online is not exactly vetted by the medical community. For every WebMD there are millions of quack sites that hand out health information that is either outdated, out-of-sync with the majority medical opinion, or outright false. While finding the safe sources of health and medical information is quite easy, a decade of such fraudulent webpages finding their way to the top of search engine results has established a distrust of health-related information online by the majority of the public.

So are we simply waiting for trustworthy information to improve our health with? Or is it that no matter how much preventive awareness is thrown our way we'll still behave as though today's health choices are not going to affect tomorrow? Such are the questions medical professionals have been asking themselves for quite sometime, and it's unlikely we'll get the answer anytime soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So Just How Dangerous are Cruise Ships?

As the world continues to watch a large cruise ship submerged off the coast of Italy, everyone watching this must have wondered what it would have been like if they found themselves in that scenario. Those who are averse to cruises found an additional reason never to go on a cruise, despite the fact that cars are a far more dangerous method of transportation, at least in terms of crash rates. Although sinking ships are rare, more common is the risk of contacting an infectious disease due to being in close quarters for extended periods with many strangers. However, another risk factor that does not get much attention is the risk of injury from falling in cruise ships.

A few years ago, researchers the University of San Diego studied this topic more closely and found that about two patients a year fell on major cruise ships from 2002 to 2005 and that the rate rose to 8 in 2006. All but one patient was female. Three of the eight patients had other significant medical problems. All eight of these patients were injured from falls, five of which happened in stairwells. The most common injury was concussion (mild traumatic brain injury). Five patients were discharged home, two needed care in extended rehabilitation facilities, and another died. In the case series studied by the authors, falls were the sole cause of major injury among cruise ship passengers. So while you can be pretty confident that if you go on a cruise that it will not sink, take common sense safety precautions to avoid falls of cruise ships.

Reference:
Am J Prev Med. 2007 Sep;33(3):219-21.
Significant injury in cruise ship passengers a case series.
Bansal V, Fortlage D, Lee JG, Hill LL, Potenza B, Coimbra R.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Do Old People Really Like the Nintendo Wii Fit?

Today, I dusted off the Nintendo Wii Fit exercise board that had collected a layer dust under my TV stand. It is winter in Syracuse and I wanted to get moving and have a little family fun along the way. It was a fun time and afterwards I went online and started catching up on some of the exercise programs on the Wii. While searching, one image I kept coming across were senior citizens seemingly having a blast playing with the Wii. It’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but does this image really reflect reality? It may be a stereotype, and I know there are exceptions, but most older people I know do not seem very excited to embrace new technology.

So, I did a scientific literature search and lo and behold, I came across an interesting study from Australia that examined this issue. The researchers studied 21 older hospitalized people prior to and after using the Wii Fit during physical therapy. However, when therapy was completed, most preferred traditional physical therapy as opposed to physical therapy programs that used the Wii Fit.

The authors of the study concluded that “Mainstream media portrayals of the popularity of the Wii Fit with older people may not reflect the true acceptability in the older hospitalized population.” Unfortunately, the researchers did not study why the patient’s had this preference. Nevertheless, if you are thinking of getting the Wii Fit for grandma or grandpa, you may want to take the above study into account before making your decision. You can read the full article here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Write Your Own Funny Caption #1


I figured I would start a new feature on the MedFriendly Blog called Write Your Own Caption. Basically, just look at the picture above, sign into the blog (it is free and quick to register) and post a comment with a caption that you think is a funny way to describe the picture. All replies are moderated an no obscenities or patently offensive humor will be published. Look forward to seeing what you all come up with.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Is 27 Really a Dangerous Age for Musicians?

Famous singer, Amy Winehouse, died on 7/23/11 of alcohol poisoning. She was 27-years-old.

Famous singer, Kurt Kobain, committed suicide and died in 1994. He was 27-years-old.

Famous singer, Brian Jones, died from a drug and alcohol overdose. He was 27-years-old.

The list goes on and on.

Many famous singers have died at age 27 and belong to what has become known as The 27 Club, Club 27, the Curse of 27, or the Forever 27 Club. Other famous members include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. So, is there a real risk associated with dying at age 27 (among musicians or the general population) or are these deaths just a coincidence? Could treatment programs for alcoholism anywhere have made a difference? A group of researchers (mostly statisticians) set out to answer the first question. The researchers studied all solo artists and band members between 1956 and 2007 who had a number one album in England. This led to 1046 musicians.

Of the musicians, 71 had died, which is 7%. About one musician died for every 200 musicians at age 27. However, near identical death rates were seen for musicians at age 25 and 32. There was no increased risk of death among musicians at age 27. However, musicians are more likely to die in their 20s and 30s compared to the general UK population, but that is likely due to lifestyle choices (e.g., drugs and alcohol). The latter is my own personal interpretation. However, the authors concluded that the 27 club is unlikely to be real and that an increased risk of early death among musicians is not limited to age 27. Another myth taken down by evidence-based data. The full article can be read here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Most MedFriendly Popular Blog Entries of 2011

Although the MedFriendly Blog made its official daily return in September 2011, I decided it would be interesting to see what entries were the most popular last year. The top 5 most popular entries are listed below. One theme is that people clearly like the entries with extreme body parts and images. Will a 4th entry be coming in 2012? I may just have to come up with one given how popular this topic is. The ADHD critique was likely popular as it concerns my profession of neuropsychology and because the entry was featured on KevinMD.com. People also like consumer oriented stories, which is likely why the give ways to evaluated suspicious medical treatment claims article was popular. Without further ado, here are links to the top 5 entries in 2011...

1. Amazing Images of EXTREME Body Parts: Almost cracking 1000 page views, this one comes in number one at 954 page views.

2. New ADHD Guidelines and the Omission of Neuropsychology:  541 page views.

3. More EXTREME Body Parts: This was the follow-up to the first article and comes in at 508 page views. This sequel does not disappoint.

4.  Five Ways to Evaluate Suspicious Medical Treatment Claims: 478 page views

5. Even More and More Extreme Body Images...: 294 page views

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Have You Seen the MedFriendly Message Board?

As the New MedFriendly redesign is in full swing, I want to take a moment to alert people to a MedFriendly feature they may not be aware of and are thus not taking advantage of. On the top of every new redesigned page, you will see a link at the top to the MedFriendly Message Board. It is the largest medical message board in the world where just about every conceivable healthcare topic has a home. And if you happen to think of a healthcare area that there is no topic for, just send in an email and the topic will be created. In a message board you get your own customizable screen name, picture/image, and you can ask questions and have discussions on just about any healthcare topic. Please give the message board a look, sign up (it’s fast and free), ask your friends and family to sign up too, and start some discussions. Looking forward to seeing your posts soon!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Guest Blog Entry: How the SpeechTrans Language Translator Can Enhance Communication in Healthcare


Before Medfriendly.com, understanding the meaning of complex medical terms was a daunting task. But what do you do if you speak a foreign language or are are in a foreign country, where others do not speak your langauge?

SpeechTrans is the Universal Language Translator from Star Trek brought to reality. It allows people who speak different languages the ability to communicate without the need for an interpreter.  SpeechTrans’ Automatic Speech Recognition Engine is powered by Nuance Communications, Inc. the maker of the popular Dragon Medical software used by Doctors worldwide to accurately transcribe patient information.  SpeechTrans can recognize and translate over 300,000 words including complex Medical Terms. SpeechTrans currently recognizes the following languages, with more being added as free updates- English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Chinese- Cantonese, Chinese-Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese.

Doctors, Nurses and Medical Staff can now communicate with their patients and patient’s family with 100% confidence that language barriers will not be an issue. Here are a few testimonials:

“Your app saved my patient's life.  When Maryland Firefighter/ Medic was treating a Spanish speaking patient suffering from a Diabetic Coma, SpeechTrans came to the rescue.  Unable to get an interpreter on Dispatch, Alex used SpeechTrans to communicate.  He was able to determine the patient’s medical History using SpeechTrans, thereby avoiding the standard treatment which would have resulted in a Fatal Allergic Reaction." -- Alex Hamburger

"I can say for one, that the Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center as well as the Heidelberg Medical Center here in Germany, would love a chance to play with this App. We are piloting the use of iPads within the Army hospitals here next month.  This App would be ideal for all the local German Nationals we get.  I make a site visit to Heidelberg on Wednesday, those guys are gonna go nuts for this." -- Ron

The next time you have a medical emergency, let SpeechTrans help you.  Now, if they only made the Medical Tri-Corder. To learn more about SpeechTrans, please visit their website at www.speechtrans.com 

This guest Blog entry was written by John Frei Co-Founder and CEO of SpeechTrans Inc.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fastfood Wars: Final Pizza Results Are In

When the MedFriendly Fast Food Wars began, I decided to analyze the nutritional information from the top pizza chains in the United States to help people make healthier selections. Originally, I planned to analyze the four mega pizza chains (Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Papa Johns Pizza, and Little Caesars) as well as Pizzeria Uno (Uno Chicago Grill) and Sbarro’s. While I was able to do the analyses on the first five pizza restaurants, I was very disappointed to find out that Sbarro’s has no nutritional information that it provides about its products on their website or in their stores. I called Sbarro’s headquarters and was informed that their foods are being re-tested and that they would not release old nutritional information because it would be misleading. Unfortunately, they've been saying this for over a year.

As a reminder, the analyses conducted below are based on a formula I created called the UHI (UnHealthy Index). The UHI is calculated by taking the six most common nutritional concerns that people have (total calories, saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates), adding them together, and dividing by six. Higher UHI scores reflect unhealthier foods and scores closer to zero (i.e., water) reflect healthier foods. Also, please keep in mind that the serving sizes designated by the pizza chains were what I used to compare the products. Since Domino’s Pizza products were only analyzed for large pizzas, I did not analyze extra-large pizzas from other pizza chains for the comparisons in these articles. Desserts were not included in these analyses since Chicago Uno has a dessert menu that is in a different category than any of the other pizza chains. Without further ado, here are the results of the pizza analysis.

UNHEALTHIEST FOOD OVERALL:

The unhealthiest food in all five pizza chains is…

Pizza Hut’s 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza, Meat Lover’s version. It contains pepperoni, beef topping, mild sausage, ham, Italian sausage, bacon bits and mozzarella cheese. The serving size for analysis is the entire pie, which is appropriate because it is a personal pizza. This bad boy has 1470 calories, 30 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 175 mg of cholesterol, a whopping 3670 mg of salt (!), and 123 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 911.58. This is the only product reviewed across the five pizza chains with a UHI in the 800 range of higher.

The 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizzas are among the unhealthiest products across the major pizza chains. Four of them are in the 700 UHI range, all of which can found on the Pizza Hut comparison page, four are in the 600 UHI range, and three are in the 500 UHI range. If you had to buy one, the healthiest one would be the Veggie Lovers, with a UHI of 576.9.

UNHEALTHIEST ITEMS BY NUTRITIONAL CATEGORY:

Highest calories: 1470 (Pizza Hut’s 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version)
Highest saturated fat: 30 grams (Pizza Hut’s 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version)
Highest trans fat: 2 grams (Pizza Hut’s Fried Cheese sticks, 4 pieces)
Highest cholesterol: 175 mg (Pizza Hut’s 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version)
Highest sodium: 3670 mg (Pizza Hut’s 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version).
Highest carbohydrates: 129 grams (Pizza Hut’s 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version)

TRANS FAT AWARDS

MedFriendly congratulates Little Caesers and Papa Johns for not having trans fats in any of their food products.

UNHEALTHIEST APPETIZER OR SIDE ITEMS (includes bread, chicken wings, and salads):

Chicago Uno’s Chi Town Tasting Plate Contains buffalo wings, avocado egg roll, chicken thumbs, crispy cheese dippers, and French fries. Total calories = 470, saturated fat = 6 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 85 grams, sodium = 1030 mg, carbohydrates = 28 grams. Total UHI = 269.83. Serving size = 5. Keep in mind that these values are only for one serving size and that you would need to multiply these numbers by 5 to calculate the values for the entire plate.

UNHEALTHIEST DIPPING CUP/SAUCES:

With the exception of Pizza Hut, the other pizza chains all provide nutritional information for dipping cups and causes. The unhealthiest of these is the:

Domino’s Pizza Hot sauce. It as 150 calories, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, a whopping 1480 mg of sodium, and 3 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 272.25.
And now that we’ve dealt with the unhealthiest foods, here is some information on the healthiest overall food choices. These analyses for healthiest foods overall does not include dipping cups, sauces, or beverages.

HEALTHIEST FOOD OVERALL:

Domino’s Pizza’s Garden Fresh Salad. Each half-bowl has only 70 calories, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 mg of cholesterol, 80 mg of salt, and 5 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 27.92. Serving size = half-bowl.

HEALTHIEST OVERALL PIZZA (REGULAR CRUST):

Remember, that for fair comparisons, values were calculated for a large (14”) pizza only.
Little Caeser’s 14" Round HOT-N-READY Pizza, Just Cheese. Each slice has only 240 calories, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 410 mg of salt, and 30 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 117.42.

HEALTHIEST APPETIZER/SIDE ITEM:.


These analyses exclude salads, which has already been documented above to be the healthiest item on one of the menus. When performing the analyses, it became clear that the healthiest items were in the chicken wing category but that some places used a serving size as two wings and Little Caeser’s used a serving size of one wing. Therefore, calculations were performed for TWO wings for each restaurant. Results showed that the healthiest appetizer across the five pizza chains is:
Dominos Pizza’s Buffalo Chicken Kickers . Every two wings has only 100 calories, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 280 mg of salt, and 7 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 68. Keep in mind that this is without adding any additional sauce.

HEALTHIEST DIPPING CUP/SAUCE:.


Papa John’s Cheese Sause. Each cup (28g) of cheese has only 40 calories, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 mg of cholesterol, 160 mg of salt, and 1 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 34.

REFERENCES FOR MEDFRIENDLY’S PIZZA CHAIN FOOD ANALYSES:


•    Dominos Pizza
•    Little Caesers
•    Papa John’s
•    Pizza Hut
•    Uno Chicago Grill (Pizzeria Uno)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Myth that Mouthguards Prevent Concussions

A popular myth amongst the public, athletes, and some health care providers is that use of a mouthguard reduces the chance of sustaining a concussion (aka mild traumatic brain injury). As this article will demonstrate, however, the claim is often cited without reference to any empirical evidence or when evidence is cited, a review of the cited studies shows that a significant overstatement has been made based on available data.

An example of a claim that mouthguards reduce concussions that can be found in the popular press was the following statement by Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs: "We're trying to get all our players to wear mouthguards. If you get hit and you're wearing a proper mouthguard, it lessens the chance of a concussion." The theory is that a mouth guard prevents concussions after a blow to the jaw (in which forces are thought to move upwards to the base of the brain) by positioning the jaw in such a manner that it absorbs the impact forces instead of the brain. Now let us examine what the data shows in terms of whether mouthguards actually reduce concussion.

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Review of the evidence

The most comprehensive scientific review on the topic of mouthguards and concussions was conducted by Knapik et al. (2007). Their conclusion was as follows: "However, the evidence that mouth guards protect against concussion was inconsistent, and no conclusion regarding the effectiveness of mouth guards in preventing concussion can be drawn at present.” (p. 118). Note that all underlined sections in this article are emphasized by myself and not the original authors. The authors also discuss “…a lack of evidence for concussion prevention (regarding mouth guards).  The inconsistency among studies is problematic and makes it impossible to determine conclusively whether mouthguards reduce concussion risk at present.” (p. 139). In fact, the authors even cite some evidence that concussion rates are higher among mouth guard users than non-mouth guard users. Lastly, the authors state, “There is currently insufficient evidence to determine whether mouthguards offer protection against concussion injury, and more work of good methodological quality is needed.” (p.140).

Review of specific studies

Here are some reviews of articles on the topic of mouthguards and concussions that were found during a literature search on PubMed, and what these articles say on the topic.

BARBIC ET AL. (2005).  These authors performed a multicenter randomized controlled study and concluded that, “In this study, concussion rates were not significantly different for varsity football and rugby players who wore the WIPSS Brain-Pad mouth guard compared with other types of mouth guards.” (p. 94). The American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN’s) definition of concussion was used. The based on observations by trained health care professionals, not a survey.

BLIGNAUT ET Al. (1987). The authors performed a cross-sectional study of 321 college rugby players who did or did not use mouthguards. The authors stated, “We conclude that injuries sustained at rugby in this study were not associated with the use or non-use of mouthguards.” (p. 5). These injuries included concussion. The study, however, is flawed because it is based on survey data and does not provide a definition of concussion.

GARON ET AL. (1986).  This study is based on survey data from 754 male football players who were asked about mouthguard use and history of various injuries, including concussion. The study is flawed because it is based on survey data and does not provide a definition of concussion. The authors found 15 concussions reported in the mouthguard use group and 14 reported in the non-mouthguard use group. This is not a significant difference and does not provide any evidence of mouthguard effectiveness for concussion reduction.

LABELLA ET AL. (2002).  In this study of male Division I college basketball players (also flawed due to survey data and not clearly defining concussion in the article) the authors concluded, “Custom-fitted mouthguards do not significantly affect rates of concussions or oral soft tissue injuries, but can significantly reduce the morbidity and expense resulting from dental injuries in men’s Division I college basketball.” (p. 41).

MARSHALL ET AL (2005).  This was a study of rugby players assessed weekly for injuries based on whether they did or did not wear mouthguards. The authors found that, “The risk of concussion was not lessened by the use of padded headgear (RR = 1.13, 95% CI: 0.40–3.16) or mouthguards (RR = 1.62, 95% CI: 0.51–5.11)”  (p. 113).  Unfortunately, no definition of concussion was provided by the authors and information was based on self-report only.

MIHALIK ET AL. (2007). These authors found that mouthguard use does not decrease the severity of concussion and that neurocognitive deficits after concussion did not differ between athletes who used mouthguards compared to those who did not. The study involved 180 athletes who were followed prospectively after a baseline cognitive assessment was performed. Unfortunately, the definition of concussion used in this study was not described. It was also not specified how a concussion was identified beyond having athlete’s complete self-report questionnaires.

TAKEDA ET AL. (2005). These authors performed experiments in which they struck an artificial skull model with a pendulum. They found that use of a mouthguard significantly decreased distortion of the mandibular bone and acceleration of the head. Based on this, the authors theorized that mouthguards may have the potential to reduce concussions. However, this is speculative and is not data that allows one to make any firm conclusions about this topic in living human beings.

WISNIEWSKI ET AL. (2004).
  The authors studied 87 Division I College football teams and found no advantage of wearing a custom made mouthguard over a boil-and-bite mouthguard to reduce the risk of concussion. Concussions were recorded by athletic trainers but the definition of concussion was not described.

Why the Myth Continues

The main reason why the mouthguard myth continues is because people misread (or do not read) peer reviewed research articles, authors make misleading statements, and/or because authors cite flawed studies to support their claims without noting the caveats. An example can be found in the study by Kemp et al. (2008). If one were to just review the abstract of the paper, one would see the following statement: “Mouthguard and headgear usage was associated with a reduced incidence of concussive injury.” (p.227). However, it is not until one reads the actual manuscript where it is found that this statement is misleading. Specifically, the manuscript states, “The incidence of concussions sustained by players not wearing mouthguards was higher than those wearing mouthguards, but it did not reach statistical significance; the average severity of concussions was similar for wearers and nonwearers.” (p. 229). In science, if a difference is not statistically significant, there is no real difference between the two groups. In fact, the authors later go on to state the following: “Similarly, research to date indicates that the wearing of mouthguards does not reduce the incidence of concussion in rugby.” (p. 232-233).

It should not come as a surprise to anyone keeping up with the research literature on this topic that there is no conclusive evidence that mouthguards prevent concussions since McCrory addressed this very topic in 2001. In that paper, McCrory noted that, “The ability of mouthguards to protect against head and spinal injuries in sport falls into the realm of ‘neuromythology’ rather than hard science.” McCrory shows how two often cited papers have been used to perpetuate this myth.
The first paper often cited was by Stenger et al. in 1964. In this study, the authors reported their observations of a season of Notre Dame University football. They anecdotally reported one case in which they felt that mouthguard use abolished the symptoms of repeat concussion. The case includes the implausible claim that the patient could not recall a game or scrimmage dating back to highschool in which he had not either partly or completely lost consciousness. Despite this claim of losing consciousness every game and scrimmage, the patient made his way onto a Division I football team as an All-American. In the Stenger paper, there were 10 cases of concussion during the entire season, which did not provide enough data to perform statistical analysis of a protective effect. In addition, all of their data was speculative. The most the authors could do was speculate that mouthguards may reduce concussions since mouthguards alter the position of the mandible.

The second paper often cited is by Hickey et al. (1967). This study did not even examine living people, but instead used mouthguards fitted to cadavers (also known as dead people). The author showed that mouthguards could reduce forces applied to the head after a blow to the jaw. This was then used by later authors as evidence that mouthguards reduce concussion risk in living people, although Hickey et al. never made such a claim. The problem is that this is obviously a huge generalization which does not provide any direct proof of reduced concussion risk in living humans. In addition, the degree to which a cadaver’s skull responds to trauma is different from how the skull of a living human would respond.

In 1998, a review by Chalmers (1998) stated, “Moreover, there is evidence that mouthguards are effective in protecting against concussion and injuries to the cervical spine.” (p. 339). He cites numerous studies as evidence to support his statement. These studies are Clegg (1969), Fricker (1983), Kerr (1986), Jagger and Milward (1995), Johnsen and Winters (1991), Powers et al. (1984), Stenger at al. (1964), and Chapman (1985). Let us examine these studies one by one.

CHAPMAN (1985a): The author states that “The use of mouthguards should be encouraged in all contact sports as the most important value of the mouthguard is the concussion saving effect following impact to the mandible. This fact alone should make the wearing of mouthguards compulsory in all contact sports.” (p. 27). The problem is that no references are listed to support the claim. However, earlier in the article, the authors reference the Hickey et al. study (see above for discussion) as support for wearing a mouthguard in sports.

CLEGG (1969): Regarding mouthguards, the author states, ”It reduces the incidence of concussion caused by blows from under the chin.” (p. 341). No references were cited by Clegg to support the statement.

FRICKER (1983): Not a single mention of concussion or brain injury is made in the article.

JAGGER (1995): The author states that, “The increased separation between the head of the glenoid fossa that occurs at the increased vertical dimension should also decrease the transmission of force from the mandible to the cranial base and thus reduce the risk of concussion.” (p. 31). The reference was Chapman (1985b). Chapman (1985b) stated: “Thus, standard mouthguards protect against orofacial injuries (dental injuries, intraoral and circumoral lacerations and jaw fractures) and concussion.” (p. 25). The references cited were Clegg (1969; see above), Davis and Knott (1984) and Chapman (1985c). Davis and Knott (1984) is a dental article with no mention of concussion. Chapman (1985c) states that mouthguards result in reduced injury to facial regions and “…a reduction in the concussion force from a blow to the mandible.” (p. 34). The references were Clegg (1969; see above), Upson (1982) and Davies et al. (1977).  The articles by Davies and Upson (1982) make no mention of mouthguards reducing concussions.

JOHNSEN & WINTERS (1991): The authors state that, “The use of mouthguards reduces the likelihood of concusssions, cerebral hemorrhage, unconsciousness (“knock-out“), or other serious central nervous system injuries and even death.“ (p. 658). Three references were cited, a) Hickey et al. (see above), b) Stenger et al. (see above), and c) Godwin et al. (1968). The reference to Godwin is odd because it is a dental article that does not contain a single mention of concussions or any other type of central nervous system problem.

KERR (1986): The author states that mouthguards “…prevents fractures, dislocations, and concussions.” (p. 417). The author references Hickey et al. (see above) and Cathcart (1959). Note that the reference in the text is to Cathcart (1959) yet the biography lists Cathcart (1952) and that the actual reference is really from 1951. The Cathcart article does not make a single mention of concussions.

POWERS ET AL. (1984):
The authors state that, “The mouth protector reduces forces that may cause concussions, neck injuries, and jaw fractures.” (p.84).  The reference? You guessed it. Hickey et al. yet again (see above).  A few sentences later the authors state: “According to some observers, an additional benefit was a reduction in the number of concussions and neck injuries occurring among football players.” (p. 84). The reference was Stenger et al. (see above) and News of Dentistry (1972).  The News of Dentistry reference discussed the 1971 University of Connecticut football program. It stated that no players wearing a mouthguard suffered a concussion but two players who wore a mouthguard did not. This was what was offered as support for “key protection” when the reality is that the numbers are too small to make any sweeping generalizations about a protective effect.

STENGER ET AL. (1964):
See above.

Conclusions

As this article has demonstrated, there is no strong scientific evidence that mouthguards prevent or reduce concussive injuries. Despite this, a myth continues to exist in the media, among coaches, the public, and some health care providers that mouthguards prevent or reduce concussions. As was detailed above, this belief owes its historical roots to the citation of articles that do not support the claim. Many of the cited articles contain no mention of concussions or refer back to two articles from the 1960s based on one living person and one dead person. This article highlights the need for statements to be based on evidence and for people to check the sources of information and critically analyze them before believing a particular claim. Mouthguards do play a role in reducing dental and oral-facial injuries and are recommended by many physicians for this express purpose.

References

Barbic et al. (2005). Comparison of Mouth Guard Designs and Concussion
Prevention in Contact Sports. A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial. Clin J Sport Med, 15, 294-298.

Blignaut et al. (1987). Injuries Sustained in Rugby by Wearers and Non-Wearers of Mouthguards. Brit.J.Sports Med., 21, 5-7.

Cathcart, J. (1951). Mouth protectors for contact sports. Dental Digest, 57, 346-348.

Chalmers, D. (1998). Mouthguards Protection for the Mouth in Rugby Union. Sports Med, 25, 339-349.

Chapman PJ. (1985a). Concussion in contact sports and importance of mouthguards in protection. Aust J Sci Med Sport, 17, 23-7.

Chapman (1985b). The bimaxillary mouthguard. Increased protection against orofacial and head injuries in sport. Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 17, 25-28.

Chapman (1985c). Orofacial injuries and the use of mouthguards by the 1984 Great Britain Rugby League Touring Team. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 19, 34-36.

Clegg JH (1969). Mouth protection for the rugby football player. Br Dent J,127, 341-3.

Davies et al. (1977). The prevalence of dental injuries in rugby players and their attitudes to mouthguards. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 11, 72-4.

Davis and Knott (1984). Dental trauma in Australia. Australian Dental Journal, 29, 217-21.

Fricker JP. (1983) Mouthguards. Aust J Sports Med Exerc Sci, 15, 22-3.

Garon et al. (1986). Mouth protectors and oral trauma: a study of adolescent football players. J Am Dent Assoc, 74, 112, 663-665.

Godwin, W. (1968). Stress transmitted through mouth protectors. J Am Dent Assoc. 77, 1316-20.

Hickey J. et al (1967). The relation of mouth protectors to cranial pressure and deformation. J Am Dent Assoc, 74, 735–40.

Jagger RJ, Milward PJ.(1995). The bimaxillary mouthguard. Br Dent J., 178, 31-2

Johnsen DC and Winters JE. (1991). Prevention of intraoral trauma in sports. Dent Clin North Am, 35, 657-66

Kemp et al. (2008). The Epidemiology of Head Injuries in English Professional Rugby Union. Clin J Sport Med ,18, 227-234.

Kerr IJ. (1986). Mouthguards for the prevention of injuries in contact sports. Sports Med, 3: 415-27.

Knapik et al (2007). Mouthguards in Sport Activities History, Physical Properties and Injury Prevention Effectiveness. Sports Med, 37, 117-144.

Labella et al (2002). Effect of mouthguards on dental injuries and concussions in college basketball. Med Sci Sports Exerc., 34, 41-4.

Marshall et al. (2005). Evaluation of protective equipment for prevention of injuries in rugby union. International Journal of Epidemiology, 34, 113–118.

McCrory (2001). Do mouthguards prevent concussion? Br J Sports Med, 35:81–82.

Mihalik et al. (2007). Effectiveness of mouthguards in reducing neurognitive deficits following sports-related cerebral concussion. Dental Traumatology, 23, 14-20.

News of Dentistry (1972). Fitted mouthguards afford key protection, Journal of the American Dental Association, 84, 531..

Powers et al. (1984). Mouth protectors and sports team dentists. Bureau of Health Education and Audiovisual Services, Council on Dental Materials, Instruments, and Equipment. J Am Dent Assoc, 109, 84-7.

Stenger et al. 91964) Mouthguards: protection against shock to head, neck and teeth. J Am Dent Assoc, 69: 273-81.

Takeda et al. (2007). Can mouthguards prevent mandibular bone fractures and concussions? A laboratory model with an artificial skull model. Dental Traumatology, 21, 134-140.

Upson, N. (1982).  Dental injuries and the attitudes of rugby players to mouthguards. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 16, 241-44.

Wisniewski et al. (2004). Incidence of cerebral concussions associated with type of mouthguard used in college football. Dental Traumatology, 20, 143-49. 

Friday, January 06, 2012

Fast Food Wars: Uno Chicago Grill

Uno Chicago Grill (formerly known as Pizzeria Uno) is the fifth and last pizza restaurant to be subjected to analysis in the Fast Food Wars. I decided to enter them into the competition because it is a place where many people across the U.S. go for pizza, despite the fact that they do not deliver. Of all the pizza restaurants that will be analyzed in the Great Pizza Battle, Uno Chicago Grill is the one that most typifies a standard sit-in dining restaurant with a broad menu. To keep the analyses fair and on the same level with the traditional pizza chains reviewed, the analyses listed below are limited to all pizzas (deep dish and thin crust pizza), appetizers, and deserts.
As a reminder, the analyses conducted below are based on a formula I created called the UHI (UnHealthy Index). The UHI is calculated by taking the six most common nutritional concerns that people have (total calories, saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates), adding them together, and dividing by six. Higher UHI scores reflect unhealthier foods and scores closer to zero (i.e., water) reflect healthier foods.

First, a word about pizza serving sizes at Uno Chicago Grill, which can be confusing if you examine the nutritional menu. The serving sizes for deep dish pizzas state Ind: 3 or Reg: 6. “Ind” means individual and “Reg” means regular. An individual pizza is 7 inches and a regular pizza is 10 inches. Each is sliced into 6 pieces. Thus, the serving size for an individual pizza is 2 slices and for a general pizza is 1 slice. For thin crust pizzas, the serving size is two slices.

UNHEALTHIEST FOODS OVERALL:

First, let’s start with the five foods on the Uno Chicago Grill menu with the highest UHI scores. The unhealthiest food you can purchase at Uno Chicago Grill in the above categories is the...

1. Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza. This is a pizza that contains sausage and pork. Each serving has 770 calories, 18 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 75 mg of cholesterol, 1640 mg of salt, and 40 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 423.83

2. Numero Uno Deep Dish Pizza. This pizza contains sausage, pepperoni, pork, and brick. Total calories: = 640, saturated fat = 12 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 45 grams, sodium = 1200 mg, carbohydrates = 41 grams. Total UHI = 323.

3. Lobster BLT Thin Crust Pizza. Total calories = 510, saturated fat = 10 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 85 grams, sodium = 1160 mg, carbohydrates = 33 grams. Total UHI = 299.66.

4. Prima Pepperoni Deep Dish Pizza. Total calories = 610, saturated fat = 12 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 40 grams, sodium = 1040 mg, carbohydrates = 39 grams. Total UHI = 290.16.

5. The Chi Town Tasting Plate. Contains buffalo wings, avocado egg roll, chicken thumbs, crispy cheese dippers, and French fries. Total calories = 470, saturated fat = 6 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 85 grams, sodium = 1030 mg, carbohydrates = 28 grams. Total UHI = 269.83. Serving size = 5.

WORST ITEMS BY NUTRITIONAL CATEGORY:


Highest calories: 770 (Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza)

Highest saturated fat: 18 grams (Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza; Uno Deep Dish Sundae [serving size = 2]; Banana’s Foster [serving size = 1; Mega Sized Deep Dish Sundae [serving size = 5])

Highest trans fat: 0.5 grams (Cheeseburger Deep Dish Pizza). All other items analyzed in the above categories have no reported trans fat.

Highest cholesterol: 145 mg (Bread Pudding with caramel sauce, serving size = 2)

Highest sodium: 1640 mg (Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza)

Highest carbohydrates: 96 grams (Mini White Chocolate Chunk Deep Dish Sundae, serving size = 1)

UNHEALTHIEST APPETIZERS:

1. The Chi Town Tasting Plate. Contains buffalo wings, avocado egg roll, chicken thumbs, crispy cheese dippers, and French fries. Total calories = 470, saturated fat = 6 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 85 grams, sodium = 1030 mg, carbohydrates = 28 grams. Total UHI = 269.83. Serving size = 5.

2. Three Way Buffalo Wings. Total calories = 430, saturated fat = 8 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 135 grams, sodium = 970 mg, carbohydrates = 3 grams. Total UHI = 257.66. Serving size = 3.

3. Three Way Buffalo Bites. Total calories = 320, saturated fat = 2 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 60 grams, sodium = 1070 mg, carbohydrates = 20 grams. Total UHI = 245.33 Serving size = 3.

4. Muchos Nachos. Total calories = 460, saturated fat = 8 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 45 grams, sodium = 810 mg, carbohydrates = 54 grams. Total UHI = 229.5. Serving size = 3.

5. Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas. Total calories = 350, saturated fat = 8 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 40 grams, sodium = 890 mg, carbohydrates = 36 grams. Total UHI = 220.66. Serving size = 3.
   
UNHEALTHIEST DESSERTS:

1. Mini White Chocolate Chunk Deep Dish Sundae. Total calories = 660, saturated fat = 14 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 80 grams, sodium = 390 mg, carbohydrates = 96 grams. Total UHI = 206.67. Serving size = 1.

2. Uno Deep Dish Sundae. Total calories = 700, saturated fat = 18 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 70 grams, sodium = 310 mg, carbohydrates = 95 grams. Total UHI = 198.83 Serving size = 2.

3. Mega Sized Deep Dish Sundae. Total calories = 700, saturated fat = 18 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 70 grams, sodium = 310 mg, carbohydrates = 95 grams. Total UHI = 198.83 Serving size = 4.

4. Bananas Foster. Total calories = 640, saturated fat = 18 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 90 grams, sodium = 260 mg, carbohydrates = 82 grams. Total UHI = 181.66. Serving size = 1.

5. Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce. Total calories = 450, saturated fat = 16 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 145 grams, sodium = 330 mg, carbohydrates = 46 grams. Total UHI = 164.5. Serving size = 2.

KIDS MENU:

If you are going to get pizza from the Kids menu, the most unhealthy items is the Kids Pepperoni Pizza (UHI: 250.33) and the Kids Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza (UHI: 249.83). The healthiest pizza on the kids menu is the Kids Cheese Pizza with a UHI of 219.83. The Kids Deep Dish Pizza comes in a close second with a UHI of 219.67.

SAUCES:

Uno Chicago Grill has eight sauces to choose from. The unhealthiest sauce is the Asian sauce, with a UHI of 139. This is because the sodium level is 710. The 2nd unhealthiest sauce is the Buffalo Garlic (UHI = 96.3) and the 3rd unhealthiest is the Buffalo Wing (UHI 88.83). The other sauces are relatively equivalent with UHIs in the 40s to 60s range. The healthiest sauce is the tamarind cashew sauce, which has a UHI of 41.66and is the only sauce with a UHI in the 40s. The serving size for the tamarind cashew sauce is 57 grams and the other sauces have a serving size of 43 grams.

HEALTHIEST FOODS OVERALL: (excluding sauces)

1. The healthiest item you can purchase at Uno Chicago Grill in the pizza, appetizers, or desert section is the

house made guacamole. It has only 235 calories, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 230 mg of salt, and 32 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 82.25. Serving size = 2.

2. Mini Bananas Foster. This dessert has 350 calories, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 mg of cholesterol, 140 mg of salt, and 46 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 98.33. Serving size = 1.

3. Mini All American Apple Crumble. This dessert has 320 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 mg of cholesterol, 250 mg of salt, and 44 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 112. Serving size = 1.

4. Mini Hot Chocolate Brownie Sundae. This dessert has 370 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 60 mg of cholesterol, 190 mg of salt, and 54 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 113.66. Serving size = 1.

5. Avocado Egg Rolls. Each egg roll has 270 calories, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 mg of cholesterol, 350 mg of salt, and 38 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 114.08. Serving size = 2.

HEALTHIEST PIZZAS OVERALL:

Now that you have a sense of which appetizers and desserts to steer towards, let’s move to the pizzas. The healthiest pizzas on the menu are all in the thin crust domain. According to the Chicago Uno restaurant I called, these pizzas are about 9 inches. For these pizzas, the serving size is two out of six slices. Rankings are as follows:

1. Thin Crust Roasted Eggplant Spinach & Feta . Total calories = 290, saturated fat = 3.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 15 grams, sodium = 560 mg, carbohydrates = 38 grams. Total UHI = 151.08.

2.Thin Crust Cheese & Tomato . Total calories = 280, saturated fat = 5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 20 grams, sodium = 590 mg, carbohydrates = 33 grams. Total UHI = 154.66.

3. Thin Crust BBQ Chicken Multigrain. Total calories = 330, saturated fat = 4.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 40 grams, sodium = 550 mg, carbohydrates = 39 grams. Total UHI = 160.58.

4. Thin Crust BBQ Chicken. Total calories = 340, saturated fat = 5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 40 grams, sodium = 660 mg, carbohydrates = 39 grams. Total UHI = 180.66.

5. Thin Crust Gluten Free Veggie. Total calories = 320, saturated fat = 4.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 15 grams, sodium = 710 mg, carbohydrates = 43 grams. Total UHI = 182.08.

Note: Soft drinks were not subject to analysis.

From the Uno Chicago Grill website:

All nutritional information is derived from a computer analysis of recipes with the help of "Genesis R&D SQL", nutrition and labeling software, from ESHA Research in Salem, Oregon and data from our suppliers. The nutrition information provided is based on standard recipes that may vary based on portion size, regional and seasonal differences in products or substitution of ingredients. This information is not to be used by individuals with special dietary needs in lieu of professional medical advice. The nutritional information is subject to change.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Fast Food Wars: Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is the fourth pizza restaurant to be subjected to analysis in the Fast Food Wars because it was recently ranked as the pizza chain with the most stores by Pizza Magazine. In fact, I was surprised to learn that in 2008, Pizza Hut had almost twice as many stores (14,759) than Domino’s Pizza (8,641). According to the Pizza Hut Wikipedia entry, they have approximately 34,000 restaurants, delivery/carry-out locations, and kiosks in 100 countries.

As a reminder, the analyses conducted below are based on a formula I created called the UHI (UnHealthy Index). The UHI is calculated by taking the six most common nutritional concerns that people have (total calories, saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates), adding them together, and dividing by six. Higher UHI scores reflect unhealthier foods and scores closer to zero (i.e., water) reflect healthier foods.

UNHEALTHIEST FOODS OVERALL:

First, let’s start with the five foods on the Pizza Hut menu with the highest UHI scores. By far, the absolute unhealthiest food you can purchase at Pizza Hut is the...

1. 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version. It contains pepperoni, beef topping, mild sausage, ham, Italian sausage, bacon bits and mozzarella cheese. The serving size for analysis is the entire pie, which is appropriate because it is a personal pizza. This bad boy has 1470 calories, 30 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 175 mg of cholesterol, a whopping 3670 mg of salt (!), and 123 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 911.58.

The remaining unhealthiest foods at Pizza Hut are also all members of the 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza, so this is really something you want to veer away from. Here are the stats.

2. 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Spicy Italian version: Total calories: = 1220, saturated fat = 22 grams, trans fat = 1.5 grams, cholesterol = 115 grams, sodium = 3150 mg, carbohydrates =126 grams. Total UHI = 772.42.

3. 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Triple Meat Italian version: Total calories = 1280, saturated fat = 23 grams, trans fat = 1 gram, cholesterol = 135 grams, sodium = 3070 mg, carbohydrates = 123 grams. Total UHI = 772.

4. 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Supreme version: Total calories = 1270, saturated fat = 24 grams, trans fat = 1.5 grams, cholesterol = 130 grams, sodium = 2920 mg, carbohydrates = 125 grams. Total UHI = 745.08.

5. 9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Dan’s Original version: Total calories = 1270, saturated fat = 23 grams, trans fat = 1 grams, cholesterol = 125 grams, sodium = 2810 mg, carbohydrates =124 grams. Total UHI = 725.5.

No other Pizza Hut menu item had a UHI in the 700 range.

UNHEALTHIEST ITEMS BY NUTRITIONAL CATEGORY:

Highest calories: 1470 (9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version)

Highest saturated fat: 30 grams (9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version)

Highest trans fat: 2 grams (Fried Cheese sticks, 4 pieces)

Highest cholesterol: 175 mg (9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version)

Highest sodium: 3670 mg (9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version)

Highest carbohydrates: 129 grams (9" Personal PANormous™ Pizza Meat Lover’s version)

UNHEALTHIEST APPETIZERS AND SIDE ITEMS (includes chicken wings and stuffed pizza rollers):

1. The unhealthiest appetizer or side item you can purchase at Pizza Hut are the cheese sticks (4 pieces). It contains 380 calories, 9 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 40 mg of cholesterol, 1020 mg of salt, and 29 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 246.6.

The remaining unhealthiest appetizer of side items you can purchase at Pizza Hut are all in the Crispy Bone In Wings section. The following information is for every two chicken wings you eat.

2. Crispy Bone In Wings Buffalo Mild version: Total calories = 230, saturated fat = 3 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 45 grams, sodium = 1040 mg, carbohydrates = 16 grams. Total UHI = 222.33.

3. Crispy Bone In Wings Buffalo Burnin Hot version: Total calories = 230, saturated fat = 3 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 45 grams, sodium = 1020 mg, carbohydrates = 16 grams. Total UHI = 219.

4. Crispy Bone In Wings Buffalo Medium version: Total calories = 230, saturated fat = 3 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 45 grams, sodium = 1010 mg, carbohydrates = 16 grams. Total UHI = 217.3.
   

5. Crispy Bone In Wings Spicy BBQ version: Total calories = 240, saturated fat = 2.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 50 grams, sodium = 950 mg, carbohydrates = 19 grams. Total UHI = 210.25

DESSERTS:

Pizza Hut essentially has two desserts to choose from: Cinnamon Sticks (2 pieces) or HERSHEY'S® Chocolate Dunkers® (2 pieces). If you had to choose, the healthiest choice is the Cinnamon Sticks, which has a UHI of 66.25. The Chocolate Dunkers have a UHI of 73.3. If you add the 2 oz white icing for the cinnamon sticks or the 1.5 oz of HERSHEY'S® Chocolate Sauce®, you are adding 36 and a half UHI points for each.

HEALTHIEST FOODS OVERALL:

1. The healthiest item you can purchase at Pizza Hut (excluding beverages, dipping sauces, and small desert glazes) would be 2 pieces of Cinnamon sticks. It has only 170 calories, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 200 mg of salt, and 26 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 66.25.

2. Assuming you’re fast food hunger will not be satisfied by two cinnamon sticks, then you can move up to the second healthiest item which is the healthiest appetizer on the menu: the Traditional Wings All American version. Every two wings have only 80 calories, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 mg of cholesterol, 290 mg of salt, and 0 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 68.58.

3. HERSHEY'S® Chocolate Dunkers® (2 pieces). Every two pieces have 200 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 210 mg of salt, and 26 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 73.3.

4. The apple pie side item. Every two pies have 330 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 190 mg of salt, and 40 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 94.16.

5. “BUT I CAME HERE FOR PIZZA!” you proclaim. Well, you’re in luck. The fifth healthiest item on the menu is a slice of the 12” Fit 'n Delicious® Pizza (Green Pepper, Red Onion & Diced Red Tomato version): Each slice has 150 calories, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 mg of cholesterol, 400 mg of salt, and 24 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 97.58.

HEALTHIEST PIZZAS OVERALL:

1. As noted above, the healthiest pizza at Pizza Hut is the 12” Fit 'n Delicious® Pizza(Green Pepper, Red Onion & Diced Red Tomato version) with a UHI of 97.58.

2. One slice of the 9” Pizza Mia Pizza, cheese only. Each slice has 200 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 mg of cholesterol, 490 mg of salt, and 24 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 122.16.

The remaining most healthiest pizzas are all from the 12" Fit 'n Delicious® Pizza, so it is nice to see that it objectively lives up to its advertised name. Serving size is 1 slice.

3. 12" Fit 'n Delicious® Pizza, Chicken, Red Onion, & Green Pepper version (one slice): Total calories = 180, saturated fat = 2 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 20 grams, sodium = 510 mg, carbohydrates = 23 grams. Total UHI = 122.5.

4. 12" Fit 'n Delicious® Pizza, Ham, Red Onion, & Mushroom (one slice): Total calories = 160, saturated fat = 1.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 15 grams, sodium = 550 mg, carbohydrates = 23 grams. Total UHI = 124.9.

5. 12" Fit 'n Delicious® Pizza, Ham, Pineapple, & Diced Red Tomato version (one slice): Total calories = 160, saturated fat = 1.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 15 grams, sodium = 550 mg, carbohydrates = 24 grams. Total UHI = 125.08.

Note: Soft drinks were not subject to analysis.

From the Pizza Hut website: Nutritional values not applicable to Pizza Hut products in Hawaii. Substitutions of ingredients may alter nutritional values. Menu items and hours of availability may vary at participating locations. Although this data is based on standard portion product guidelines, variations can be expected due to seasonal influences, minor differences in product assembly per restaurant and other factors. Some menu items may not be available at all Pizza Hut restaurants, and certain locations may at times offer buffet items, test products, limited-time offerings or other regional menu choices not listed here. Product data is based on current formulations as of date of posting. If you have any questions about Pizza Hut and nutrition or are particularly sensitive to specific ingredients or foods, please contact us at 1-800-948-8488.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Fast Food Wars: Papa John's

Papa John’s is the third pizza restaurant to be subjected to analysis in the Fast Food Wars. According to the Papa John’s Wikipedia entry, Papa John’s is the third largest take-out and delivery pizza restaurant chain in the U.S. behind Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza. Internationally, there are over 3,300 Papa John's establishments, including over 2,600 in the U.S. and more than 500 in over 30 other countries

As a reminder, the analyses conducted below are based on a formula I created called the UHI (UnHealthy Index). The UHI is calculated by taking the six most common nutritional concerns that people have (total calories, saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates), adding them together, and dividing by six. Higher UHI scores reflect unhealthier foods and scores closer to zero (i.e., water) reflect healthier foods.

For the pizza analysis, keep in mind that Papa John’s makes pies in an original crust version and a thin crust version. The thin crust version only comes in one size (14”) whereas the original crust version comes in sizes of 8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, and 16. In general, the higher larger the pizza, the larger the UHI will be. All specialty pizzas advertised on the Papa John’s website were analyzed for both original crust and thin crust. All pizza analyses below were performed based on a serving size being equal to ONE SLICE.

UNHEALTHIEST FOODS OVERALL:

First, let’s start with the five foods on the Papa John’s menu with the highest UHI scores. By far, the absolute unhealthiest food you can purchase at Papa John’s is the...

1. 16” The Meats Pizza, original crust. It contains pepperoni, sausage, beef, hickory-smoked bacon, and ham. One slice of this bad boy has 400 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 mg of cholesterol, 1100 mg of salt, and 40 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 264.47.

2. 16” Hawaiin BBQ Chicken, original crust. This pizza is covered in barbeque sauce, grilled all-white chicken, hickory-smoked bacon and fresh-sliced onions, then topped with sweet pineapple .Total calories: = 370, saturated fat = 5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 35 grams, sodium = 1080 mg, carbohydrates = 49 grams. Total UHI = 256.5.

3. 16” BBQ chicken and Bacon, original crust. Tangy barbeque sauce and piled high with grilled all-white chicken, hickory-smoked bacon and fresh-sliced onions. Total calories: = 371, saturated fat = 5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 35 grams, sodium = 1080 mg, carbohydrates = 48 grams. Total UHI = 256.3.

4. 16" Spicy Italian, original crust. Pepperoni and a double portion of spicy Italian sausage. Total calories = 400, saturated fat = 8 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 40 grams, sodium = 1040 mg, carbohydrates = 41 grams. Total UHI = 254.8.

5. 14" The Meats, original crust. Total calories = 370, saturated fat = 7 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 40 grams, sodium = 1050 mg, carbohydrates = 38 grams. Total UHI = 251. This means that you can buy any of the 16” pizzas except those mentioned above and the choice will be healthier than ordering a 14” The Meats Pizza.

UNHEALTHIEST ITEMS BY NUTRITIONAL CATEGORY:

Highest calories: 580 (Cinnamon Sweetsticks; 4 pieces). Fresh, hand-tossed dough topped with sweet cinnamon spread, drizzled with white icing and then oven-baked

Highest saturated fat: 8 grams (14” The Meats original crust, 14” Spicy Italian original crust, and 14” The Meats thin crust)

Highest trans fat: NONE. Papa John’s reports using no trans fats in any of their food products. Good job!

Highest cholesterol: 50 g (BBQ wings, Buffalo wings, honey chipotle wings). Serving size is every two wings.

Highest sodium: 1100 mg (14” The Meats original crust)

Highest carbohydrates: 98 grams (Cinnamon Sweetsticks, 4 sticks).

UNHEALTHIEST APPETIZERS AND SIDE ITEMS:

1. The unhealthiest appetizer or side item you can purchase at Papa John's are the

cheese sticks. Every 4 pieces contain 370 calories, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 mg of cholesterol, 860 mg of salt, and 41 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 218.83.

2. BBQ wings: Total calories = 170, saturated fat = 3 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 50 grams, sodium = 1070 mg, carbohydrates = 3 grams. Total UHI = 216. Serving size: 2 wings.

3. Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks: Total calories = 340, saturated fat = 1.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 0 grams, sodium = 720 mg, carbohydrates = 54 grams. Total UHI = 185.92. Serving size: 2 sticks.

4. Buffalo Wings: Total calories = 190, saturated fat = 3 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 50 grams, sodium = 760 mg, carbohydrates = 6 grams. Total UHI = 168.16. Serving size: 2 wings.

5. Breadsticks: Total calories = 290, saturated fat = 0.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 0 grams, sodium = 540 mg, carbohydrates = 54 grams. Total UHI = 147.42. Serving size: 2 sticks.

Note: Papa John’s only has 6 side items and appetizers. This leaves the chickenstrips as the healthiest side item/appetizer. Total calories = 130, saturated fat = 0.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 25 grams, sodium = 430 mg, carbohydrates = 10 grams. Total UHI = 99.25. Serving size: 2 strips.
   
DESSERTS:

Papa John’s has three desserts to choose from. The unhealthiest are the Cinnamon Sweetsticks with a UHI of 237.08. In the middle is the Cinnapie with a UHI of 199.33. The healthiest desert is the apple pie with a UHI of 182.08. Serving size for each of these desserts is 4 sticks.

DIPPING SAUCES:

Papa John’s has 8 dipping sauces to choose from. By far the most unhealthiest dipping sauce is the Buffalo sauce, with a UHI of 174.5. This is because it has 1030 mg of sodium! None of the other sauces even come close, with the 2nd highest UHI coming from the garlic sauce (77.1). The healthiest dipping sauce is the cheese sauce, with a UHI of 34.5. The second healthiest is the pizza sauce with a UHI of 42.17.

HEALTHIEST FOODS OVERALL:


1. The healthiest item you can purchase at Papa John's (excluding beverages and dipping sauces) is the

10” Garden Fresh pizza. The pizza contains fresh-sliced onions, green peppers, gourmet baby portabella mushrooms, ripe black olives and juicy, and fresh-sliced Roma tomatoes. Each slice has only 140 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 mg of cholesterol, 350 mg of salt, and 20 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 87.

Note: In general, analyses show that 10”pizzas have a higher UHI than 8” pizzas. Other exceptions are the 10” cheese pizza (UHI: 110) and the 8” cheese pizza (112) as well as the 10” spicy Italian (UHI: 150) and the 8” spicy Italian (UHI: 153).

2. Two chicken strips. Total calories = 130, saturated fat = 0.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 25 grams, sodium = 430 mg, carbohydrates = 10 grams. Total UHI = 99.25. Serving size: 2 strips.

3. 8” Garden Fresh pizza. Every slice has 180 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 mg of cholesterol, 440 mg of salt, and 26 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 110.

4. 8” Spinach Alfredo pizza. This pizza has a rich and creamy blend of spinach and garlic Parmesan Alfredo sauce. Every slice 190 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 420 mg of salt, and 24 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 110.

5. 10” Cheese pizza. Each slice has 180 calories, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 mg of cholesterol, 440 mg of salt, and 25 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 110.

Note: Soft drinks were not subject to analysis.

From the Papa John’s website:

Menu items may vary by restaurant.

The nutrient value of our products may vary based on the local supplier, region of the country, season of the year, and/or slight variations in product assembly. Nutritional data is derived from information provided by Papa John's suppliers and from testing conducted in accredited laboratories.

For additional nutritional facts regarding Papa John's menu items, call 888-404-7537 and select option 1.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Fast Food Wars: Little Caesers

Little Caesers is the 2nd pizza restaurant to be subjected to analysis in the Fast Food Wars. According to the Little Caesers Wikipedia entry, Little Caeser’s is the third largest carry-out pizza restaurant chain in the U.S. Currently, there are around 2,000 locations, down from a peak of around 5,000 in the 1990s.

As a reminder, the analyses conducted below are based on a formula I created called the UHI (UnHealthy Index). The UHI is calculated by taking the six most common nutritional concerns that people have (total calories, saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates), adding them together, and dividing by six. Higher UHI scores reflect unhealthier foods and scores closer to zero (i.e., water) reflect healthier foods.

Only the items advertised on the Little Caeser’s website were analyzed. All pizza analyses below were performed based on a serving size being equal to one slice.

UNHEALTHIEST FOODS OVERALL:


First, let’s start with the five foods on the Little Caeser’s menu with the highest UHI  scores. By far, the absolute unhealthiest food you can purchase at Little Caesers is the…

1. Three Meat Treat Pizza. It contains pepperoni, Italian sausage, and bacon. One slice of this bad boy has 350 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 mg of cholesterol, 730 mg of salt, and 30 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 193.

2. Buffalo Dipping Sauce, one container. Total calories: = 140, saturated fat = 2 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 0 grams, sodium = 940 mg, carbohydrates = 4 grams. Total UHI = 181.

3. Baby Pan! Pan!, Pepperoni, one pan. Total calories: = 360, saturated fat = 7 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 35 grams, sodium = 610 mg, carbohydrates = 33 grams. Total UHI = 174.167.

4. Deep Dish Pizza, Pepperoni, one slice.Total calories = 360, saturated fat = 6 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 30 grams, sodium = 610 mg, carbohydrates = 38 grams. Total UHI = 174.

5. Ultimate Supreme Pizza, one slice: It contains pepperoni, onion, Italian sausage, mushroom, and green pepper. Total calories = 310, saturated fat = 6 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 30 grams, sodium = 640 mg, carbohydrates = 31 grams. Total UHI = 169.5.

UNHEALTHIEST ITEMS BY NUTRITIONAL CATEGORY:


Highest calories: 380 (Buttery garlic dip, 1 container).

Highest saturated fat: 9 grams (Buttery garlic dip, 1 container)

Highest trans fat: NONE. Little Caeser’s reports using no trans fats in any of their food products. Good job!

Highest cholesterol: 40 g (Three Meat Treat Pizza). Serving size: one slice

Highest sodium: 840 mg (Buffalo dip, 1 container)

Highest carbohydrates: 38 grams (Deep Dish Pizza, pepperoni and Deep Dish Pizza, just cheese). Serving size: one slice.

UNHEALTHIEST APPETIZERS AND SIDE ITEMS:


Keep in mind that Little Caesers only has 8 appetizers and side items, so the items listed towards the bottom can also be seen as some of their healthier items as well.

The unhealthiest appetizer or side item you can purchase at Little Caeser’s are the

1. Caeser’s wings (hot). Each wing contains 60 calories, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 430 mg of salt, and 1 gram of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 85.3.

2. Pepperoni cheese bread, 16-piece order. : Total calories = 160, saturated fat = 3 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 15 grams, sodium = 280 mg, carbohydrates = 16 grams. Total UHI = 79. Serving size: one piece.

2. Pepperoni cheese bread, 10-piece order. : Total calories = 150, saturated fat = 3 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 15 grams, sodium = 280 mg, carbohydrates = 13 grams. Total UHI = 76.83. Serving size: one piece.

4. Italian cheese bread: Total calories = 130, saturated fat = 2.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 10 grams, sodium = 230 mg, carbohydrates = 13 grams. Total UHI = 64.25. Serving size: one piece.
   
5. Caeser’s wings, mild: Total calories = 60, saturated fat = 1 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 20 grams, sodium = 290 mg, carbohydrates = 1 gram. Total UHI = 62. Serving size: one wing.

DIPPING SAUCES:

Little Caeser’s has 6 dips to choose from and one sauce (Crazy Sauce). By far the most unhealthiest dipping sauce is the Buffalo sauce, with a UHI of 181. This is because it has 940 mg of sodium in each small container! The 2nd highest UHI in this category comes from the buttery garlic dip (134.83). The healthiest dip sauce is the ranch, with a UHI of 108.67. However, if you want something much healthier to dip in, go with the Crazy Sauce, which has a UHI of only 52.5.

HEALTHIEST FOODS OVERALL:

1. The healthiest item you can purchase at Little Caesers (excluding beverages, dips, and sauces), is the Caeser’s wings, oven roasted. Each wing has only 50 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 150 mg of salt, and 10 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 36.83.

2. Crazy bread. Each piece has only 100 calories, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 mg of cholesterol, 380 mg of salt, and 3 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 44.25. My personal favorite.

3. Caeser’s wings barbecue. Every wing has 70 calories, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 220 mg of salt, and 3 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 52.33.

4. Caeser’s wings, mild, one wing. Total calories = 60, saturated fat = 1 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 20 grams, sodium = 290 mg, carbohydrates = 1 gram. Total UHI = 62.

5. Italian cheese bread, one piece. Total calories = 130, saturated fat = 2.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 10 grams, sodium = 230 mg, carbohydrates = 13 grams. Total UHI = 64.25.

HEALTHIEST PIZZA OVERALL:


1. The healthiest pizza you can purchase at Little Caesers is the

14" Round HOT-N-READY Pizza, Just Cheese. Each slice has only 240 calories, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 410 mg of salt, and 30 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 117.42.

2. Vegetarian pizza. This pizza contains mushroom, black olives, tomatoes, onion, and green pepper. Each slice has 270 calories, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 530 mg of salt, and 32 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 142.75.

3. 14" Round HOT-N-READY Pizza, Pepperoni. Every slice has 280 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 mg of cholesterol, 520 mg of salt, and 30 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 143.33.

4. Deep dish, pizza, just cheese, one slice. Total calories = 320, saturated fat = 5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 25 grams, sodium = 490 mg, carbohydrates = 38 gram. Total UHI = 146.33.

5. Hula Hawaiin, pineapple and ham, one slice. Total calories = 270, saturated fat = 4.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 25 grams, sodium = 600 mg, carbohydrates = 33 grams. Total UHI = 155.42.

Note: Soft drinks were not subject to analysis. From the Little Caesers website:

Nutritional and ingredient information is based on Little Caesars standard U.S. product formulation. While the ingredient information is based on standard product formulations, variations may occur depending on the particular supplier, product assembly per restaurant, regional, and other factors. Further, product formulations may change periodically. Calculations were performed on Genesis® R&D SQL Software, by ESHA Research, PO Box 13028, Salem, OR 97309 USA.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Fast Food Wars: Domino's Pizza

Domino’s Pizza is the first pizza restaurant to be subjected to analysis the Fast Food Wars. According to the Domino’s Pizza Wikipedia entry, Domino’s Pizza is the second-largest pizza chain in the United States. Domino's currently has nearly 9,000 corporate and franchised stores in 60 international market and all 50 U.S. states.

A few words about how the Domino's Pizza analyses were conducted. It was initially confusing to how to find all of the nutritional information for some specific Domino's Pizza items. This is because their nutritional pdf only provides ranges for the nutritional informational of foods on various categories rather than tell you the values for each item.

To find the nutritional information for each specific item, you need to click on their Cal-O-Meter, select an item, and then click View Details to the upper right. Since Dominos has 4 different pizza crusts and 4 different sizes with so many different toppings, there are almost an infinite amount of possible pizza creations. To simplify matters, results are presented for large pizzas only because this size applies to all crusts (not all sizes do) and because it is the standard size that people order.

As a reminder, the analyses conducted below are based on a formula I created called the UHI (UnHealthy Index). The UHI is calculated by taking the six most common nutritional concerns that people have (total calories, saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates), adding them together, and dividing by six. Higher UHI scores reflect unhealthier foods and scores closer to zero (i.e., water) reflect healthier foods.

UNHEALTHIEST FOODS OVERALL:


First, let’s start with the five foods on the Domino's menu with the highest UHI scores. The unhealthiest food you can purchase there in the above nutritional categories are all in the oven baked sandwich category (serving size = 1 sandwich). These include:

1. The Italian Sandwich: It contains Pepperoni, Salami, & Ham topped with Banana Peppers, Green Peppers, Onions, & Premium Provolone Cheese. This bad boy has 820 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat, 1 grams of trans fat, 130 mg of cholesterol, 2700 mg of salt, and 70 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 623.5.

2. Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese: Total calories: = 830, saturated fat = 16 grams, trans fat = 1 grams, cholesterol = 115 grams, sodium = 2690 mg, carbohydrates =74 grams. Total UHI = 621.

3. Chicken Bacon Ranch: Total calories = 870, saturated fat = 16 grams, trans fat = 1 gram, cholesterol = 125 grams, sodium = 2380 mg, carbohydrates = 72 grams. Total UHI = 577.3.

4. Italian Sausage and Peppers: Total calories = 860, saturated fat = 21 grams, trans fat = 1 grams, cholesterol = 125 grams, sodium = 2260 mg, carbohydrates = 74 grams. Total UHI = 556.8.

5. Sweet and Spicy Chicken Habernero: Total calories = 800, saturated fat = 17 grams, trans fat = 1 grams, cholesterol = 125 grams, sodium = 2170 mg, carbohydrates =83 grams. Total UHI = 532.6.

HEALTHIEST FOODS OVERALL:

The five healthiest items you can purchase at Dominos Pizza (excluding beverages, dipping sauces, and salad dressing) are as follows:

1. Garden Fresh Salad. Each half-bowl has only 70 calories, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 mg of cholesterol, 80 mg of salt, and 5 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 27.92. Serving size = half-bowl.

2. Cinna Stix. For each stick, the total UHI is 36.44.

3. Breadsticks. For each stick, the total UHI is 36.5.

4. Cheesy Bread. For each stick, the total UHI is 46.4.

5. Grilled Chicken Sandwich. The total UHI is 67.75 for each half a bowl.

UNHEALTHIEST ITEMS BY NUTRITIONAL CATEGORY:


Highest calories: 870 (Chicken Bacon Ranch oven baked sandwich)

Highest saturated fat: 21 grams (Italian Sausage and Peppers oven baked sandwich; a bowl of the Mac-N-Cheese Pasta in a Dish)

Highest trans fat: 1.5 grams (Mac-N-Cheese Pasta in a Dish)

Highest cholesterol: 130 mg (Italian Sandwich oven baked pizza)

Highest sodium: 2700 mg (Italian Sandwich oven baked pizza)

Highest carbohydrates: 83 grams (Sweet and Spicy Chicken Habernero)

UNHEALTHIEST LEGENDS AND FEAST PIZZAS:


Keep in mind that these values are for ONE SLICE of a large pizza, so if you eat more than one slice you need to adjust the numbers accordingly. All four crusts were analyzed.

1. Fiery Hawaiin (hot sauce) Legends pizza, Brooklyn style: It contains sliced ham, smoked bacon, juicy pineapple, roasted red peppers, jalapeƱos, hot sauce, provolone cheese and mozzarella cheese. Each slice has 370 calories, 8.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 mg of cholesterol, 1280 mg of salt, and 31 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 290.75.

2. MeatZZa Feast Pizza, Brooklyn style: Pepperoni, ham, savory Italian sausage and beef topped with an extra layer of cheese. Total calories = 390, saturated fat = 10 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 65 grams, sodium = 1240 mg, carbohydrates = 30 grams. Total UHI = 289.17.

3. ExtravaganZZa Feast Pizza, Brooklyn style: It has loads of pepperoni, ham, savory Italian sausage, beef, onions, green peppers, mushrooms and black olives with extra cheese. Total calories: = 400, saturated fat = 10 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 60 grams, sodium = 1220 mg, carbohydrates = 31 grams. Total UHI = 286.83.

4. California Chicken Bacon Ranch Legends Pizza, Brooklyn style: Total calories = 490, saturated fat = 11.5 grams, trans fat = 0.5 grams, cholesterol = 75 grams, sodium = 1100 mg, carbohydrates = 28 grams. Total UHI = 284.17.
   

5. Fiery Hawaiin (hot sauce) Legends pizza, Deep dish style: Total calories = 400, saturated fat = 7 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 35 grams, sodium = 1190 mg, carbohydrates = 40 grams. Total UHI = 278.67.

HEALTHIEST LEGENDS AND FEAST PIZZAS:


Keep in mind that these values are for ONE SLICE of a large pizza, so if you eat more than one slice you need to adjust the numbers accordingly. All four types of crusts were analyzed.

1. Philly Cheese Steak Legends pizza, Thin crust: It contains roasted red peppers, spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and black olives with feta and provolone cheeses. Each slice has 230 calories, 5.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 mg of cholesterol, 450 mg of salt, and 20 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 122.58.

2. Philly Cheese Steak Legends pizza, Thin crust: Total calories = 230, saturated fat = 6.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 35 grams, sodium = 470 mg, carbohydrates = 18 grams. Total UHI = 126.58.

3. Memphis BBQ Chicken Legends Pizza, Thin crust: Total calories: = 250, saturated fat = 5.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 35 grams, sodium = 470 mg, carbohydrates = 23 grams. Total UHI = 130.58.

4. Deluxe Feast Pizza, Thin crust: It contains pepperoni, savory Italian sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, onions and cheese. Total calories = 250, saturated fat = 5.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 30 grams, sodium = 550 mg, carbohydrates = 21 grams. Total UHI = 142.75.

5. Honolulu Hawaiin Legends pizza, Thin crust: Sliced ham, bacon, pineapple and roasted red peppers with provolone cheese on a parmesan crust. Total calories = 260, saturated fat = 5.5 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 35 grams, sodium = 600 mg, carbohydrates = 22 grams. Total UHI = 153.75.

UNHEALTHIEST SINGLE PIZZA TOPPINGS (calculated for an entire large pizza):


1. Anchovies: 110 calories, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 mg of cholesterol, 3310 mg of salt, and 63 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 588.

2. Bacon: Total calories = 470, saturated fat = 13 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 110 grams, sodium = 1770 mg, carbohydrates = 9 grams. Total UHI = 395.3.

3. American Cheese: Total calories: = 360, saturated fat = 19 grams, trans fat = 1 grams, cholesterol = 90 grams, sodium = 1780 mg, carbohydrates = 3 grams. Total UHI = 375.5.

4. Italian Sausage: Total calories =500, saturated fat = 16 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 80 grams, sodium = 1470 mg, carbohydrates = 13 grams. Total UHI = 346.5.

5. Green Olives: Total calories = 150, saturated fat = 3 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 0 grams, sodium = 1870 mg, carbohydrates = 3 grams. Total UHI = 337.67.

HEALTHIEST SINGLE PIZZA TOPPINGS (calculated for an entire large pizza):


1. Green Pepper: 15 calories, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 0 mg of salt, and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 3.16.

2. Green Chile Pepper: Total calories = 15, saturated fat = 0 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 0 grams, sodium = 0 mg, carbohydrates = 4 grams. Total UHI = 5.7.

3. Spinach: Total calories: = 15, saturated fat = 0 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 0 grams, sodium = 45 mg, carbohydrates = 2 grams. Total UHI = 1.7.

4. Garlic. Total calories = 50, saturated fat = 0 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 0 grams, sodium = 5 mg, carbohydrates = 12 grams. Total UHI = 11.16.

5. Mushrooms: Total calories = 30, saturated fat = 0 grams, trans fat = 0 grams, cholesterol = 0 grams, sodium = 35 mg, carbohydrates = 3 grams. Total UHI = 11.3.

UNHEALTHIEST APPETIZER OR SIDE ITEM (includes bread, chicken wings, and salads):

Hot Buffalo Wings (serving size = 2 wings). Every two wings contains 200 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 mg of cholesterol, 690 mg of salt, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 157.58.

HEALTHIEST APPETIZER OR SIDE ITEM (includes bread, chicken wings, and salads):


Buffalo Chicken Kickers (serving size = 2 wings). Every two wings contains 100 calories, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 280 mg of salt, and 7 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI score: 68.

UNHEALTHIEST DIPPING CUPS:


Dominos has 8 dipping cups to choose from, one of which is a sweet icing dessert cup, which is covered in the dessert section below.

The choice of dipping cups really comes down to sodium levels. The unhealthiest dipping cups (serving size = 1 package) are:

1. Hot sauce. 150 calories, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, a whopping 1480 mg of salt, and 3 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 272.25.

2. Parmesan Peppercorn. 310 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 5 grams of trans fat, 15 mg of cholesterol, 510 mg of salt, and 3 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 140.58.

3. Italian. 220 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, a whopping 460 mg of salt, and 1 gram of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 114.08

4. Blue cheese. 240 calories, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, a whopping 310 mg of salt, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 96.08.

HEALTHIEST DIPPING CUPS:


The healthiest dipping cups (serving size = 1 package) are:

1. Marinara sauce. 25 calories, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, a whopping 270 mg of salt, and 5 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 50.

2. Garlic. 250 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 160 mg of salt, and 0 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 69.17.

3. Ranch. 200 calories, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 mg of cholesterol, 340 mg of salt, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 92.5

4. Blue cheese. 240 calories, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 310 mg of salt, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 96.03.

SALADS:

Dominos has two salads to choose from: the Garden Fresh and the Grilled Chicken Caesar. Serving size is a half a bowl. The healthiest choice is the Garden Fresh with a UHI of 27.92. The Grilled Chicken Caeser salad had a UHI of 67.75. The difference is mostly due to higher sodium content (290 for the Grilled Chicken Caser and 80 for the Garden Fresh). Incidentally, each package of croutons has a UHI of 40.17.

SALADS DRESSINGS:

Dominos has 5 salad dressings to choose from. These are ordered from unhealthiest to healthiest as follows:

1. Light Italian. 20 calories, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 770 mg of salt, and 3 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 132.17.

2. Creamy Caeser. 210 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 mg of cholesterol, 520 mg of salt, and 0 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 123.92.

3. Blue cheese. 230 calories, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 25 mg of cholesterol, 440 mg of salt, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 117

4. Buttermilk ranch. 230 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 mg of cholesterol, 390 mg of salt, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 105.92.

4. Golden Italian. 210 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 360 mg of salt, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Total UHI: 95.92.

DESSERTS:

Dominos only has two desserts to choose from: Cina Stix or Chocolate Lava crunch cakes. If you had to choose, the healthiest choice is the Cina Stix Sticks. Each stick has a UHI of 36.44. By contrast, each chocolate lava crunch cake has a UHI of 107. The sweet icing dipping cup has a UHI of51.25 due to each cup having 250 calories, 57 carbohydrates, and 0.5 grams of saturated fat. There are no trans fats, cholesterol, or sodium in the sweet icing. Note: Soft drinks were not subject to analysis.

From the Dominos website:


The pizza products listed in this publication, when made with approved Domino’s Pizza ingredients, will provide the nutritional composition as indicated. Information may vary slightly depending on location and supplier. The availability of optional toppings may vary by store. The nutrition information is generated by the industry standard Genesis R&D Nutritional software. The ingredient listings are provided by ingredient manufacturers. Domino’s Pizza LLC, its franchisees and employees do not assume responsibility for a particular sensitivity or allergy to any food provided in our stores. This guide includes only standard menu items. For nutritional information on special menu product offers, visit www.dominos.com.