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Is Your Kid Eating Too Much Pizza?

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Photo Via IMG Kid

If the novelty of “pizza night” has morphed into “pizza morning,” “pizza lunch,” and “pizza snack” in your household, you might be getting a stern warning from the doctor at your kid’s next checkup. That’s right, a new study published yesterday in Pediatrics is asking parents and medical professionals to note the large amount of pizza children and adolescents are consuming. On days that kids eat pizza, the study found, those slices end up accounting for over 20% of their daily calories needs—and, of course, a lot of those calories are so-called “empty” calories with little nutritional value.

The study looked at pizza consumption in kids aged 2-19 years old during 2003-2010, and found that pizza was a large contributor to youngters’ solid fat intake (although less so than cookies/donuts/pie). Overall, a lot of pizza was served in school cafeterias, as well as at fast-food joints, which aren’t places that parents can control.

Of course, kids love pizza for a no-brainer reason: It’s freakin’ delicious. But researchers also say it could be a lot healthier with a few tweaks: More veggies, healthier cheeses, thinner crusts, whole-wheat crusts, etc. And while parents can’t exactly get access to a school’s lunchroom or a favorite eatery to re-make pizza in a less-fatty manner, it’s a valid point to consider at the next PTA meeting or at-home “pizza night.”

And while we’re on the subject of pizza…this will most definitely brighten your day!

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