Kids love pizza, but a new study shows that it doesn’t love them back. On days when children eat pizza, they consume an average of 408 additional calories, three additional grams of fat and 134 additional milligrams of salt compared with their regular diet. For teens, putting pizza on the day’s menu adds 624 calories, five grams of fat and 484 milligrams of salt.
The analysis, published online Monday by the journal Pediatrics, examines pizza’s contribution to the childhood obesity crisis because it is so widely consumed. On any given day, 22% of kids between the ages of 6 and 19 eat pizza. (That compares to 14% of toddlers and 13% of Americans overall.) The only foods more popular with kids are “grain desserts,” a category that includes cakes, cookies and doughnuts.
For this they needed research?
Health policy researcher Lisa M. Powell of the University of Illinois at Chicago and her colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess pizza’s impact on children’s diets. Participants in NHANES, a project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complete dietary recalls that list all the foods and drinks they consumed in the previous 24 hours. Responses from 7,443 children between the ages of 2 and 11 and 6,447 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 were involved in the new study.
The results revealed that younger kids eat 83 calories’ worth of pizza a day and teens eat 143 calories of the dish each day, on average. Those amounts were high enough to account for 5% and 7% of total daily calories, respectively. On days when pizza is eaten…
Oh, shut up.