Think twice before grabbing a slice

With obesity rates on the rise, the school should stop serving pizza to promote good eating habits that can last a lifetime.


Pizza should be eliminated from the cafeteria. I know, flaming hot take, but don’t give up on me yet. As we all know, pizza is not healthy. Still, many students get a slice or two everyday. If that doesn’t sound like a bad habit, I don’t know what is. With obesity rates still on the rise, cutting out pizza everyday could help students develop good eating habits that last a lifetime.

First, let’s look at just how unhealthy pizza is. A standard slice of Papa John’s cheese pizza (what West High gets), packs in 350 calories and 8 grams of saturated fat. However, it should be mentioned there are 15 grams of protein in there too. Remember, those nutrition facts double when you get a second slice.

To put this all into perspective, Fueling Teens recommends no more than 28 grams of saturated fat per day for an average teen, meaning you would be getting almost 30% of your daily intake of saturated fat from just one slice of pizza.

The BBC reports that while eating homemade pizza once a week is fine, even healthy, it is not recommended that you frequently eat pizza from a restaurant due to the high calorie, cholesterol and saturated fat content.

Now let’s compare that to the chicken burger the school serves. The burger has 320 calories, 25 grams of protein, and 3 grams of saturated fat. It contains just a bit more calories, but it has significantly more protein and less saturated fat than pizza.

I’m not going to pretend that hot lunch is super healthy for you, because it’s not great. The food is often high in sodium and admittedly, fat. Although, if you scroll through the school lunch page, you will notice that often the hot lunch options for the day have higher amounts of protein, plus lower amounts of saturated fat and sodium than Papa John’s cheese pizza. Of course, there are exceptions (one being the cheesy nachos with tortilla chips), but overwhelmingly, it is healthier to get the hot lunch than the pizza.

According to the National Library of Medicine it is important for schools to promote good eating habits through childhood and adolescence in order to prevent bad eating habits as adults. Adolescent eating habits carry into adulthood. By starting good habits at school, students will be healthier adults when they leave high school.

Instead of having pizza or even the hot lunch, students could get the cold lunch options such as wraps, salads and sandwiches. These are made with minimally processed ingredients and include whole grain components which are much healthier than a slice of pizza.

West High should do away with pizza and promote healthier alternatives like the hot lunch, wraps, salads, and sandwiches. Though occasionally there are hot lunches that are less healthy than pizza, in the long term it would be better to get hot lunch everyday than eating one or two slices of pizza everyday. Next time you go through the lunch time, think twice before you grab a slice.

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