Weighing in with a lower-fat pizza offering, Pizza Hut is the first major pizza chain to launch a national better-for-you product in the US. With plans for packaged salads to accompany deliveries later this year, Pizza Hut looks to be doing what it can to help the nation’s waistlines. Whether it can service those on the highly popular Atkins diet remains to be seen.

Pizza Hut, the largest pizza chain in the US, has launched its first lower calorie pizza called Fit ‘N Delicious after six months of development. The key to the pizza’s name will be a reduced amount of cheese, fewer fatty toppings and more sauce. This will combine to create a pizza that has 30 fewer calories per slice than Pizza Hut’s other thin-crust pizzas and just 33% of its Stuffed Crust pizza’s calorie count. Pizza Hut plans to offer the Fit ‘N Delicious pizza in most of its 6,600 US locations by the end of the month.

While this is indeed a valiant effort to address the obesity epidemic, some are concerned that it might raise more problems than it solves. As with low-fat snacks, many fear that the promise of a guilt-free pizza session will only result in a greater consumption volume. Others point to the latest dieting trend, inspired by the Atkins diet, as being focused on the absence of carbohydrates, rather than the absence of fats.

Either way, Pizza Hut is taking a bold step forward, and not before time. McDonald’s rolled out its range of salads earlier this year, and Applebee’s will shortly introduce low-calorie alternatives on its menu, developed in partnership with WEIGHT WATCHERS.

As the foodservice industry begins to make steps towards catering for the diet-conscious consumer, no chain, let alone restaurant, can afford to ignore such trends. Both Domino’s and Papa John’s spokespersons have confirmed that these companies are looking into better-for-you products and the CEO of Carlson Restaurants, owner of TGI Friday’s, has also offered praise for such initiatives. Now, if only they could create a carbohydrate-free pizza.

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