To Be or Not to Be Healthy?

Is Pizza Good or Bad for You?

Video by Jalen Womack, Alexis Slewion, Rashard, Makalaya Hayes and McKinley Bunting...all 5th grade reporters in the Smart Cookies Summer Program at Friendship Chamberlain Academy.

Article by Olivia Leslie and Khalelah McCollum, 6th grade reporters at Friendship Woodbridge Academy.

FNN Woodridge Bureau: Summer 2014. The most common fast food is pizza. Pizza can be healthy but the problem is that you need to eat it in moderation. Experts would argue that pizza is not bad for your health because it contains the nutrient lycopene. Lycopene is a red pigment commonly found in red fruits and vegetables. That means that lycopene is good for you. It contains a fiber which helps your stomach process food and move food throughout your body. Saturated fat is also found in pizza. Saturated fat (fatty acids) is what gives food flavor. Foods that are low-fat don’t really have any flavor. Pizza manufacturers use a whole lot of sugar to add flavor. That’s what makes people obese.

For example, if you have a hamburger with bacon and cheese and a side of fries, it’s not the bacon or cheese that makes the meal unhealthy, it’s the buns and the fries. 

There are carbs and sugars in these things that can make your blood pressure rise to dangerous levels depending on how much and when you eat it. It’s the same with pizza, people can put random things in their pizza like pineapples and black olives. But it’s not the toppings that cause weight gain, it’s actually the ingredients used to make the crust and dough. Factories put refined flour (not whole wheat) and ingredients into the dough. This causes and contributes to obesity.

Perhaps what worries specialists the most isn’t what people eat. It’s how and when they eat. If pizza was made at home, then all of the sugar that factory pizza has wouldn’t be in it. And it does matter what time of day you eat homemade pizza. Scientists have shown in studies that if people eat homemade pizza during the night, then they are more likely to gain weight. Since 44% of children eat pizza for dinner, that means that these additives can contribute to obesity. And, a heavy meal such as pizza, could cause lazy digestion or sleeping problems. Therefore, having pizza for lunch isn’t the same as having pizza for dinner.

Olivia Leslie and Khalelah McCollum are 6th graders at Friendship Woodbridge Academy.