AUSTRALIA OBESITY CONFERENCE: FAT: OVERWEIGHT MEN: An overweight man walks through a pedestrian mall in Sydney Friday, Sept. 8, 2006. The World Health Organization says more than 1 billion adults around the world are overweight and 300 million of them are obese, putting them at much higher risk of diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke and some forms of cancer. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Cape Town - Often regarded as quite comfortable on the gravy train, MPs have lambasted Parliament’s plush dining rooms as the cause of their obesity.

They say the food they get at work at a huge discount, is making them gain weight because portions are huge and fatty.

Some eschew Parliament’s allegedly unhealthy food altogether, choosing restaurants off-site.

“What we have noticed about Parliament’s diet is that each and every food item has fats. Ordinarily, you can’t have a huge amount of fat and protein at the same time,” ANC MP Zukile Luyenge was quoted in a report.

He said there was a variety of foods, but everything had fat, including fish. “It’s better to stick to the meat rather than eat fish prepared here in Parliament.”

The DA’s newly appointed parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said on Monday: “It is not only about the unhealthy food, but the quantity of the food. There’s is a lot of food in Parliament and people eat a lot. They should decrease the amount of food.”

ANC MP Sheila Sithole said the legislature’s unhealthy diet has long been a cause of a serious concern for many lawmakers.

Parliament’s spokesman Luzuko Jacobs said the matter would be discussed with the catering department.

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Cape Times