Fast Food Challenge Results


Healthy, homemade meals went head-to-head with their fast-food nemeses when the University of Newcastle Nutrition and Dietetics team hosted its inaugural Fast Food Challenge.

To coincide with Australia’s Healthy Weight Week, the event weighed in on new survey results that revealed three-quarters of young women still opt for regular take-away meals such as pizza, fast food chain dinners and fish and chips, over cooking a healthy meal at home.

The Fast Food Challenge saw a team of nutrition and dietetics staff and students putting fast food to the test by cooking healthy versions of a burger and fries; fish and chips; and pizza.

The homemade meal options were judged against the takeaway fast food options based on the time it took to get to the table, the cost, nutritional value and taste. For all categories the home made versions were clear winners beating the takeaway versions in value for money, flavour, and nutrition.

The recipes that were used are available here:

Remember though that you can pick and choose your ingredients and add healthy flavours from lean cuts of meat, vegetables, herbs and spices. By using fresh, healthy ingredients, you will benefit from important nutrients like protein, folate, iron and calcium, without overdoing the nasties like saturated fat, added sugar and salt.”


Barbeque Chicken Pizza takeaway:

27 minutes, taste test result: 7/15, cost per serve: $11.00 (for half a pizza, delivered)

Barbeque Chicken Pizza homemade:

28.36 minutes, taste test: 13.85/15, cost per serve: $4.83 (for half a pizza)

Hamburger meal takeaway:

21 minutes, taste test: 4.7/15, cost per serve: $6.90

Hamburger meal homemade:

23.34 minutes, taste test: 13.9/15, cost per serve: $2.97

Fish and chips takeaway:

51.42 minutes, taste test: 4.8/15, cost per serve: $8.00

Fish and chips homemade:

21.11 minutes , taste test: 11.8/15, cost per serve: $2.36

As you can see, the timing was similar (except for the fish and chips), the taste of the homemade versions was superior for all meals, and the cost per serve was much less for all homemade meals.



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About this site…

Food habits that are formed during childhood have a big influence on health outcomes on adulthood.

The Back to Basics program helps to expose young children to healthy food to improve their health both now and in the future.

The development of this program has been made possible by the support of:


Medibank Community Fund

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation


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