According to a 1996 study of U.S. adults, the percentage of breakfast eaters dropped from 86% to 75% between 1965 and 1991. The decline likely was due to social pressure to limit acceptable breakfast fare to chocolate-frosted sugar bombs, bacon and eggs or pancakes. A more enlightened 2019 American public came up with the answer for decline breakfast dining: cold pizza.
A recent survey of more than 9,000 customers by mobile pizza-ordering and delivery service Slice found that over half of Americans (53%) would rather eat cold pizza for breakfast than more traditional fare like cereal or eggs. If breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, then it only makes sense that expanding the menu to include cold pizza will get more Americans eating breakfast. Maybe it’s not surprising then that the the fastest-growing fast-food chain in America is a pizza chain.
But is eating pizza (cold or warmed up) good for you? Opinions are divided.
On one side are the never-pizza scolds who have never uttered the words “pizza is good for you.” On the other side of the argument are progressive thinkers like Chelsey Amer, a New York-based nutritionist who told Health.com that “a slice of pizza contains more fat and much less sugar than most cold cereals, so you will not experience a quick sugar crash.” Amer also noted that pizza has more protein than a bowl of cereal. Sometimes science actually gives us the results we pine for. And other times it shows us that plenty of foods and drinks we only think are healthy.
British biochemist Terence Kealy published a book in 2016 titled “Breakfast Is a Dangerous Meal” noting that the breakfast-food industry sponsored a lot of the studies related to the importance of breakfast. Worse even than the empty calories in so much breakfast cereal is Kealy’s claim that eating breakfast may increase a person’s overall daily caloric intake. Other studies argue exactly the opposite, and some have found that light breakfast of around 350 calories didn’t change daily caloric intake while a 600-calorie breakfast reduced caloric intake by just 114 calories for the day.
The moral of the story is that pizza for breakfast is no more contentious than is breakfast itself. Look for it soon on the menu at your favorite breakfast place or in the cereal aisle of the grocery store next to the chocolate-flavored sugar bombs. Some pizza purveyors may even want to think about opening earlier in the day to take advantage of the demand for pizza in the morning. For those of you who prefer a sandwich — these are the best breakfast sandwiches in every state.