Pizza is popular – for kids’ parties, family night out and even late night snacks. But pizza can pack a lot of calories and that can lead to weight gain, which can increase cancer risk.
A study published yesterday in the journal Pediatrics dissects the role pizza plays in weight and nutrition for children and adolescents. Although the researchers found that overall, daily calories from pizza are lower than a decade ago, children and adolescents who eat pizza also consume more calories, saturated fat and salt each day than non-pizza eaters.
Study authors also found that if the pizza was from a fast food restaurant or was eaten as a snack, it added even more calories than if the pizza was from school cafeterias or from home. Overall, teens averaged about 320 calories more per day when eating pizza from a fast food restaurant than days when they didn’t eat pizza at all.
Being overweight as a kid may lead to being overweight as an adult. Overweight and obese adults have an increased risk for many common cancers, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.
How can you help your child learn to enjoy pizza as a meal, treat or even as a healthful contribution to their diet? Check out our blog where I give a few tips on how to order and make a healthier pizza.