A recent study has revealed that the majority of the most popular items on Uber Eats in Sydney and Auckland are categorised as ‘unhealthy’.

By reviewing publicly available data on the healthiness of the most popular food outlets and menu items advertised on the food delivery service, researchers from the University of Sydney and the University of Auckland found that over 85% are classified as ‘unhealthy’ under independent guidelines.

“What sets this study apart is that we used evidence-based and independent rating systems such as the Australian Dietary Guidelines to assess nutritional quality of their popular menu items,” says lead author Dr Stephanie Partridge from the University of Sydney’s Westmead Applied Research Centre, School of Public Health and Charles Perkins Centre.

In both cities, almost 75% of the most popular food outlets were scored as unhealthy, according to the Food Environment Score.

Over 80% of the popular menu items were classified as discretionary, meaning they are high in added salt, saturated fat, added sugar, or low in dietary fibre – according to the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

“Online food services are already growing in popularity around the world, changing the traditional way people access restaurant and takeaway foods,” says Dr Partridge.

“Food delivery services are a really convenient service in response to consumer demand, and there is a potential to direct that accessibility to promote healthy eating.”

In total, the study examined 1,074 food outlets and 5,769 popular menu items.