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Tallaght is pizza capital of the world

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    Registered Users Posts: 7,588 ✭✭✭ Bluetonic

    Tallaght is pizza capital of the world
    John Burns
    IN Tallaght they eat more pizza than anywhere else on the planet. A branch of Domino’s located in the Square shopping centre is the busiest of its 8,000 stores worldwide, apparently selling up to 200 pizzas an hour.

    That’s a lot of dough, in every sense. The branch is the first in Domino’s 45-year history to hit a turnover of $3m (€2.35m) a year. The chain says that requires 1m pizzas a year or an eye-watering three a minute for every one of the 12 hours a day the branch is open.

    Domino’s may be underestimating the cost of its product, however. An average order at the store, including pizza, side order and drink, would cost €20. A turnover of €2.3m a year would mean 2,200 such orders a week or a more manageable, if still impressive, 26 an hour.

    Either way the revelation will prompt fears about Tallaght’s 100,000 waistlines. The average pizza has about 900 calories, half the recommended daily total for women.

    “Yes, we have noticed problems in this area and there are a number of similar hot spots,” said Dr Donal O’Shea, who runs an obesity-treatment unit at St Colmcille’s hospital in nearby Loughlinstown.

    “This part of Dublin has a particular problem with both childhood and adult obesity. It’s a combination of bad food and a lack of exercise. The availability of fast food and the fact that Ireland is literally a record breaker in that area is borne out not just in the statistics but in what is presented at the door of the clinic.”

    Perhaps conscious that its record-breaking would not be widely interpreted as a cause for celebration, Domino’s was coy about identifying Tallaght last week. The biggest pizza- delivery chain in the world first announced that an Irish branch had broken the $3m record, but wouldn’t identify which of the 27 outlets in Ireland it was.

    Contacted last Thursday, however, the Domino’s branch in the Square was only too happy to confirm its record turnover.

    “Yes, that’s correct,” said Fergus McDonald, the manager of the store.

    Founded in 1960, Domino’s has stores in more than 50 countries, but is particularly successful in Britain and Ireland, where it has 428 outlets and plans to double this to 1,000 in the next few years. The company says a number of branches are in the “two million club”, with annual sales of $2m (€1.6m).

    “There is no such thing as a single bad food, and pizza itself isn’t to blame for obesity,” said O’Shea.

    “But it is striking the number of patients being referred to our clinic who regularly have takeaways as snacks. That’s where pizzas slot in for people, as late-night convenience food or between their main meals.

    “A lot of people don’t even notice them slipping in, and don’t consider a pizza an actual meal.

    “It’s only when we get them to draw up food diaries that we notice pizza is there as a regular for the family.”

    O’Shea said that those who chose a full 12in pizza, rather than the more regular 9in size, are the type of people more likely to be obese.

    While Domino’s has a “reduced fat” pizza with less cheese, it also offers 14in ones. Just two slices of its 14in Deluxe Feast contain 628 calories and more than 10g of saturated fat, half the recommended daily allowance.

    Dr Mairead Kiely, a lecturer in nutrition at University College Cork, said studies in Ireland have not found a relationship between bad diet and poorer socio-economic areas, as in America. Instead there is a link between poor nutrition and a lack of education.

    “Income levels are not related to education, and Ireland has a hugely expanding middle class,” she said. “Where you have lower levels of education, you find poorer diets with more reliance on fast food and less fruit and vegetables. If there was a link to income, Domino’s wouldn’t be doing as well, because pizza is not a cheap way to feed a family.”,,2091-2291359,00.html