Children in this study, which tracked subjects ages 2 to 19 using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, netted 84 extra calories on days they ate pizza, and teenagers netted 230 extra calories over kids who did not eat pizza on that day. “Pizza consumption as a snack or from fast-food restaurants had the greatest adverse impact,” researchers write. One of the co-authors of the study, Lisa Powell, director of the Illinois Prevention Research Center and professor of health policy and administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told ThinkProgress that she and the other researchers focused on pizza because “it’s such a prevalent item in children’s diets.”
But Roberto A. Ferdman sees a “silver lining” in the study:
Pizza consumption is still too high by nutrition standards, but it’s lower than it used to be. Consumption fell by roughly 25 percent between 2003 and 2010, according to the study. Much of that has dip has come at dinner time, where it’s fallen by 40 percent for children and about 33 percent for teenagers.
And Alexandra Sifferlin adds:
Researchers found that many kids were getting their pizza in school cafeterias, though it may be a bit healthier than it used to be: the USDA’s nationwide nutrition standards for school lunch have improved the nutritional content of all lunch offerings, including pizza.