Study Says Parents Should Limit Kids Pizza Consumption
No matter how you slice it, American kids are eating too much pizza.
That's according to a new study from the Illinois Prevention Research Center, which found that pizza is the second-highest source of calories for kids ages 2 to 18. No. 1 was grain desserts like cookies and donuts.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that on days that kids and teens eat pizza, they take in much higher amounts of calories, fat and sodium than the days they don't. And a full fifth of children and adolescents eat pizza on any given day.
Kids need to eat pizza less frequently, but pizza needs to get healthier, said lead author Lisa Powell, associate director of the Health Policy Center at the Institute of Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
"It's a very common and convenient food, so improving the nutritional content of pizza, in addition to reducing the amount of pizza eaten, could help lessen its negative nutritional impact," she said.
Though children take in an extra 84 calories and teens an extra 230 calories when they down pizza, they don't make up for it by eating less food throughout the day, Powell added.
Dr. William Dietz, director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, said that lowering our kids' intake of pizza "should become another goal in our efforts to reduce obesity in U.S. youth."