The Science of Pizza

Here’s why pizza is really the most eaten food. And why it’s not always a good thing having so many varieties.

Pizza, probably the most loved food in the world. Definitely one with more varieties anyone could think of.

Surprisingly, also quite a topic when it comes to science. Several publications about pizza  with over 420.000 results when searching pizza in GoogleScholar, the Google scientific portal.

In this first article it’s debated if Is it really good to have so many types of Pizza?

A study published on PlosOne, So Many Brands and Varieties to Choose from: Does This Compromise the Control of Food Intake in Humans?
(more info in the references)

The effects of dietary variability in pepperoni pizza on two key outcome variables; i) compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) expectations about the satiating properties of pepperoni pizza (expected satiation). We reasoned that dietary variability might generate uncertainty about the postingestive effects of a food.

How long an acceptable menu could be…..

An internet-based questionnaire was completed by 199 adults. This revealed substantial variation in exposure to different varieties of pepperoni pizza. In a follow-up study (n= 66; 65% female), high pizza variability was associated with i) poorer compensation for calories in pepperoni pizza and ii) lower expected satiation for pepperoni pizza.

So, next time you are in front of a menu and are celebrating for the great variety of choice… well, think twice!

Here’s why pizza is really the most eaten food

As part of a survey, for the scientific article: Lifestyle and Dietary Behaviors among Saudi Preschool Children Attending Primary Health Care Centers, Eastern Saudi Arabia (with more info and links at in the reference at the bottom of the page) researchers ran a survey with 300 kids and those were the shocking results..Unsatisfactory areas include smoking fathers (32%), smoking in front of children (11.3%), overweight and obesity among mothers (60.3%), noncompliance using seat belts for both parents (56.3%) and children (68%), children watching television (T.V) more than 2 hours (50%), adherence to exclusive breast feeding (only 20.7%), and late solid food introduction (65.3%).

Think what you eat and think as you eat

Frequent intake of unhealthy food items was 26%, 25%, and 24% for pizza, burger, and soft drinks. Unfortunately frequent intake of the following unhealthy food items was high: biscuits, deserts/chocolates, and chips which was 78%, 67%, and 72%, respectively. 
Conclusion. This study provides benchmark about the current situation. It provides health care workers and decision makers with important information that may help to improve health services.

favorite food ever pizza sweet soda and chip - paint from kids

What more impresses is the combination of unhealthy behavior and how they reflect on children approach to food!

Want to know what scientists think about? look up here

References:
• Wiktionary, the free dictionary: https://en.wiktionary.org with Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)
• Hindawi publishing: Lifestyle and Dietary Behaviors among Saudi Preschool Children Attending Primary Health Care Centers, Eastern Saudi Arabia, Magdy A. Darwish, Ghadeer Al-Saif, Suha Albahrani, and Amr A. Sabra – International Journal of Family Medicine, with Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
• PlosOne publishing: So Many Brands and Varieties to Choose from: Does This Compromise the Control of Food Intake in Humans? Charlotte A. Hardman, Danielle Ferriday, Lesley Kyle, Peter J. Rogers, Jeffrey M. Brunstrom – with Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Calcio in 2018. The good, the bad and the so so.

How was 2018 for Italian football, the beloved calcio. A snapshot of the most important questions and answers.

Another year is concluded and its time to look back at what it happened in the last year.

In Italy this relates to few topics, the most popular being probably football.

For almost ten years the questions have been somewhat repetitive and the answers too.

Did Juventus won the Serie A? Did Juventus won the Champions League? Are the two teams from Milan back in track? Are the unresolved issues with violence finally terminated?

And the easy answers have been: Yes, No, No, No. This being the case also in 2018.

Juventus led again the national league, with no real competitors, as in the last 8 years. Looking forward to celebrations in May, Serie A is more of a showcase for his great new jewel, Ronaldo.

Juventus flag

Not done yet in Champions league instead. A few finals in the last year didn’t end the nostalgy from that evening back in 1996, last time Juventus won the cup. Great games at times, but nothing more. Not the final shout of joy.

And the other teams from the peninsula which participated didn’t do very well either, for a few exceptions, such as the incredible duel between Roma and Barcelona back in spring.

It’s no more time of the great black tulips in Milan, but also the times which followed with the victories during the 90s and beyond. A.C. Milan is very far from its legendary times, and hasnt put a nice streak of victories either yet. Fallimentary in Europe and very poor at home.

And it’s no more time of special one and triplete also for the nerazzuri of F.C. Inter. The last time the team celebrated was really special, like its trainer, Mourinho. But since then, nothing else basically. A promising striker, which seems always close to jump into the elite of the players of these years, but not yet. And a mix of good but not excellent players. Which may do well with their national teams rather than in Milan pitch.

And unfortunately, it has been another year in which it hasn’t been discussed only events in the football field, but also outside. Some good example in the infrastructure, with more trust on supporters as in the stadium of Juventus hasn’t really helped in educating the larger mass.

Ultra’ supporters, associated as groups, have been involved at times in violence acts, with national and foreigners teams. Police and the law have become harder and stricter, but the problems stays and facts repeat their selves over and over.

As it seems to be more related to a part of the society, that lives football with a complete different view then it is in the reality. An excuse to ventilate the frustrations, no one knows what pushes supporters to throw a rock or punch one from an opponent team. Surely seems to be difficult to eradicate. But not impossible

Italy budget law 2019, a really important matter

It’s time to see 2019 Italian budget law in action. What does it really mean for Italy ant the EU?

Italy 2019 budget law has been just approved by the national parliament and it effectively become official as of January 1st 2019

What does it mean for Italy, its citizens and the EU? And why so much discussion and work behind this.

Let’s take a little step back, also as this is the first article on this topic.

Italy current government started its operations after the election of March 4th 2018 and its path hasn’t been the smootest so far.

2 parties, quite far from each other and surely far before the elections found theirselves to be ruling together the countries after the general vote. Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) and la Lega (former Northern League) joined the forces together to start a government together, despite the large distances in between. It seemed the only options, after Partito democratico (PD), previously in charge of the government, has refused talks with M5S and didn’t achieved enough votes to be alone in charge.

M5S, a populistic party that moves from left to right views, with an attempt of being revolutionary in the way in which is built (internet based and first party) and la Lega, definitely right wing, often showing extremist views, albeit always refusing any allegations with extreme right politics.

Both parties very far in basically everything, from infrastructure to migrations, from economics to society, but with one single fundamental common point. Being both declared anti-EU establishment. Not anti-EU per se. But definitely shouting loud versus the doctrines and the leaders in Brussels.

Now back to today and the 2019 budget law

Budget law requires a more involvement and participation from the national government and parliament and in accordance with the EU. It’s the most important bucket of laws issued every year, with the financial, fiscal and social plans to come.

In the Italian case, this become a of particular interest, when it touches the possible creation of debt, given the Italian National Debt being one of the highest in the world, and in EU behind only the one of Greece. And the initial plans from the Italian government were exactly in this direction. Main motto being: more debts, more investments and liquidity to restart the economy.

European Union

In the last months there has been a real arm wrestle between Italy and the EU on the 2019 budget law.

An arm wrestle which didn’t leave any winner and has been handled quite poorly by both sides. Italian government went backwards, from an initially quite strong point of view on how loose being with regards to deficit and debt, launching significant investments and plans in support of citizens, to a more comfortable plan for the EU. Being more tight on producing debt (already way out of control) but also with internal investments and plans. One step back, showing weakness and not accomplishing what promised during election campaigns. Main visible lost, moving from over 2.4% of deficit to presumably something around 2%..

EU and its leaders didn’t win either. Yes, they may have reduced the risks from an economical stand point on the short run, but mid and long are all to be seen.

The impact on Italian voters may have been harder then expected. The image of EU went deteriorating also because while using the stick with Italy, seemed to use the carrot with France which pushes to expand its deficit. Doesn’t matter to voters that the two situations were different in many reasons. They seemed the same and that’s what matter. An unfair treatment.

2019 will have EU parliament elections and if we may see the first signals of that.

In any case, what is the law all about?

  • National Basic Income. A bold move strongly requested by M5S. Provide a basic income to almost 5M italian citizens. For 9 months, presumably starting as of March 2019. Much more ambitious before. It has been reduced in costs.
  • Gold pensions (pensioni d’oro): cuts to retirement pensions (in Italy fully public) from 90k EURO per year and above.
  • Age for retirement: introduced 100 quote. 100 as sum for years worked + age. Still unclear on how will be implemented. Definitely a risk for the debt.
  • Flat Tax: what Lega was asking for during election campaigns (15% flat tax for business entities) hasn’t been achieved. But something similar for who made less than 65K Euro with tax reductions for a few (5) years
  • Write off: government writes off old small debts under EUR 1000 made before 2010 and support the returns of newer with lighter payment plans
  • Children care: up to EUR 1500 as bonus to subscribe babies and toddlers to public and private day care
  • R&D: more support (up to EUR 90Millions) to National research Center. Not too much, but wasn’t included with too much relevancy in the parties plans.
  • A long series of small improvements, with no major impacts on the overall budget, which may still be amended as law will be executed.

So, here we are.

Now will need to become effective in the next months and the eyes of Italians and the entire EU will be following closely the events.

The new year brings a new way to clean the ears

Get healthier and improve the environment. Sounds logical, just need a little effort.

New Year’s imposed resolution.

As of January 1st , 2019 on the entire Italian territory it will be forbidden the sale of cotton buds to clean the years.

Yes, no more on the shelves of supermarkets, nor at the local grocery. This happens 2 years in advance of what EU just recently voted to require from all countries.

Mission

The choice is clear has a serious intent. Reduce plastic pollution and one of the most common item present in our water. Plastic cotton buds.

They litterally infest the seas and Italy wants to take a stance. Surely not enough, but a significant action and signal in respect of the environment.

Ready to panic

But how consumers will react? Well, if you are currently panicking, well, there’s a remedy and it’s actually way healtier than with plastic buds.

Water. And soap. That’s it. In general massaging the area around the ear can help further in keeping clean the ears. Only in case of blocks, some oil emollients may become handy.


Etna, flank eruptions and strong tremors. It doesn’t seem to stop.

A land of contrast, where nature is the constant reference. What has happening on Etna?

Sicily, wonderful island, full of contrast.

A land where the beauty and the beast are so close to each other that only a perfect territory would be able to balance.

The beautiful and warm population with an immense culture and heritage versus the unfamous worldwide image that the criminality still strong in the land carries on as mafia.

And nature.

Perfect sand beaches and landscapes from one side. The perfect holiday destination. Land of beauty and culture, mountain and sand, hills and open countryside. And the crystal clear sea.

In contrast to a strong deadly volcanic and seismic activity underneath.

Clouds from Etna erupting

All in one simple, outstanding and terrifying name, Etna.

This New Year’s eve there will be some more fireworks to celebrate. Some more natural and scary, the ones from the majestic and legendary volcano. Erupting and source of magic. But also of fear and pain.

Only recently the volcano seemed to have restarted quite actively its activity. Never stopped in the reality, but now very much more intense.

Hundreds of earthquakes have shaken the land in the far surroundings in the recent weeks, and the situation seems not gone back to a more limited activity.

Several injuried, mainly from home collapsing, because of the tremors of the land and over 600 homeless only in a few days. Damage for the economy have been so far limited, with the Italian govermennt in support with circa 10 Million Euros already deployed for action in an emergency plan.

ListenItaly.com launches now! Wish us good luck!

A new, fresh service, ready to bring you everyday the stories, the events, from Italy, in English starts now!

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