(CBS) — It’s a type of food that’s so popular it could almost be considered a staple in the diet of the typical American young person. But as CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, eating pizza comes with a cost.
Sausage and cheese and sometimes with extra cheese is how Jamie Lerner likes her pizza. Lerner said she wouldn’t want a pizza with just vegetables and she is not alone.
George Metaxas sees that at Trattorria Peppino in Elmwood Park where healthy choices are an option generally not taken.
But now a study in the Journal Pediatrics shows that about 20 percent of the nation’s young people eat pizza on any given day, and when they do their caloric intake skyrockets.
“We found for younger children that on a day they eat pizza compared to a day they don’t eat pizza they are taking in about an extra 84 calories a day,” said Lisa Powell, associate director of the Health Policy Center at the Institute of Health Research and Policy at UIC.
And for older kids it’s even worse.
“For adolescents they are taking in an additional 230 calories each day they eat pizza,” Powell said.
Adolescents like Jonathan Figueroa who stopped by Peppino’s for lunch. His grandma got him some rigatoni, but he wished he had gotten pizza instead. And when he does get pizza less is definitely not more.
That’s why Dawn Lerner says school children should no longer be able to choose pizza.
“Pizza should be out of the schools unless it’s a holiday or special event day,” she said.
The study examined the eating habits of children over seven years and found snacking on pizza between meals added the most calories to the diets of young students.