by Ariel Finkle
This may sound dramatic, but the number of pizza restaurants in East Greenwich and the surrounding area is far too many to count. Everywhere you drive is surrounded by pizza pie. It is present everywhere from Main Street to movie theaters. Why, even our local mall’s food court is invaded by the stuff! This does not mean that we as a town should throw out all of our pizza boxes. Instead, we should only think twice before letting another pizza restaurant into town. This would only aid the health of our city, as these numerous stops for greasy food do not help at all. Having numerous pizza restaurants in our town is not a good thing because it is not good for our town’s health and is addictive, even though some argue that the food has some health benefits.
There are a lot of places to get healthy foods in our town, from supermarkets to those little granola bars they sell in coffee shops. Our local pizza restaurants are not one of these. Proof of this has recently been found at the University of Chicago, where a study showed how much sodium, calories, and fat was consumed by children on days that they did and did not eat pizza. “On days adolescents ate pizza, they consumed an extra 230 calories, 5g of saturated fat, and 484 mg of sodium compared to days they did not eat pizza” (Caba). Consuming all of these extra calories, saturated fat, and salt is not good for our town. The added saturated fats contribute to higher cholesterol levels and increase our risk of heart disease. Consuming extra sodium also leads to heart failure. The extra calories contribute to an increase of weight, which is never a good thing. Due to the fact that we have numerous places around town to buy these risks to our health, we have already put ourselves in danger.
Despite this, we are in more danger than just obesity and heart disease. Our town could also become victims of pizza addiction. A recent study performed at the University of Michigan set out to see which of 35 different foods were considered the most addictive among its testers. Pizza was one of the leading foods in the experiment. Erica Schulte, leader of the study, said “‘..this study provides insight that highly processed foods may be intentionally manufactured to be particularly rewarding through the addition of fat and refined carbohydrates, like white flour..” (Stors) Seeing as pizza often contains this, it means that people in our town are at double the risk of addiction. Pizza is already bad for your health as it is. If we eat too much of it, we will only be damaging our bodies. Bodily damage is not worth setting up another pizza restaurant around here.
On the other hand, some say that pizza has a few healthy qualities. In particular, it has been found that “Cheese is a complete source of protein, which means that it contains all of the essential amino acids” (Ipatenco 6). Also, “A slice of cheese pizza contains 3.2 grams of fiber” (Ipatenco 7). Though this may be true, there are healthier ways to get your daily intake of protein and fiber. As stated before, pizza has many health risks under its cheesy coating. It may contain protein and fiber, but it also contains the possibility of high cholesterol, heart disease, and obesity. Perhaps you should reach for better sources of protein such as roasted chicken or refried beans if you want a healthier source of protein or fiber. Even though there are far more places to buy pizza in our town, chicken or beans would be worth the extra effort to find.
Throughout our town, it can be agreed that pizza is one of the tastiest foods to ever be invented. In fact, we like it so much, we have multiple restaurants for it around town. However, the calories, sodium, and fat that it contains can lead to many health risks. It is addictive as well, so consuming it in bulk would be especially hard on our bodies. Though it does contain protein and fiber, there are ways to get these without destroying your body. Having these many pizza restaurants open in town is only hurting us. Even though pizza is delicious, there is danger in every bite.