Football, money and a match for human rights.

Football match of human right one. Let’s figure out now what to wait the 16th for..

On January 16th, in Jedda, Saudi Arabia there will be the match of Italian SuperCup in between Juventus and A.C. Milan. The winner of last year Serie A, versus the winner, albeit in this case runner up of the National cup. Runner up, as Juventus won both competitions and needed an opponent.

Milan supporters

As this prologue suggests, the match may not be the most interesting one, given the distance still clear in between the two teams in terms of shape and skills. Juventus is a giant, in Italy and Europe, since almost 10 years in a row. A.C.Milan instead, hardly remember the joy of the past 20 years.

This match may become more memorable instead for the human aspects and in particular on the role of the woman in Saudi.

Italian politicians for once with one single view

As a matter of fact, Italian politicians, from right to left, have suggested the possibility to have the match played elsewhere, given the restriction to women to visit the stadium. Two of the figures more far in the political landscape, Mr. Salvini, currently Inner Minister, with far-right view and Mrs. Boldrini, far-left wing and previously head of the senate, have vowed together against the choice from the Football Association of having the SuperCup hosted in Saudi Arabia.

muslim woman

In the meantime instead, Saudi government is keen to allow women visiting the stadium alone, without a partner. Which in the Islamic country seems to be a radical change of habit.

The debate continues and seems to move away the attention from the sport event, and more on topic related to basic human rights. The push from Italian politicians may actually have for once a much broader range of actions, amplifying the voices inside the countries against the limited freedom given to women in Saudi.

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

• Wiktionary, the free dictionary: 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