Effects of pizza consumption examined

In fact, people seem to be able to eat a lot more pizza than the amount they normally fill up – without causing health problems.

A recent study at the University of Bath found that occasional excessive pizza consumption had no negative health effects. The results were published in the English-language journal “British Journal of Nutrition”.

Two and a half pizzas during a meal

Do you like to eat a slice of pizza or a lot more? No problem, because even the occasional consumption of large amounts of pizza does not seem to have a negative impact on health. The researchers come to this conclusion after having young men between the ages of 22 and 37 eat large amounts of pizza for their study. Some of the participants ate up to two and a half large pizzas during a meal, reports the research team.

Health problems from too much pizza?

In fact, one might suspect that such a meal has catastrophic health effects. And the average amount of calories consumed by the participants was very high at around 3,000 calories. However, according to the researchers, despite the additional intake of calories and fats, no immediate health problems were observed for the men if they occasionally ate too much.

Diseases from eating food

Excessive consumption of food can lead to long-term health risks such as obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The results of the study show that the body actually copes remarkably well with massive and sudden excess calories. Even if people feel completely full, they can actually eat twice as much and still effectively deal with this huge excess of energy, the researchers explain.

Effects on blood sugar levels?

The men’s blood sugar level was not increased after a normal meal. However, after meals with large amounts of pizza, a 50 percent increase in insulin was observed. This hormone controls blood sugar levels. The blood lipids (triglycerides and fatty acids) were only slightly increased when twice as much food was consumed. This was surprising, according to the researchers, since previous studies indicated that these fats increase depending on how much food a person has ingested.

Nutrients are used or stored

In the current study, participants were able to efficiently use or store the nutrients they ingested while eating pizza. As a result, the sugar and fat content in their blood was not much higher than if they had only eaten half as much, the researchers report. The biggest change after eating such a meal is seen in the hormones that cause satiety. Hormones, known as GLP-1 and peptide YY, are released from the gut and stimulate insulin production.

Effects on mood

In addition to the appetite, the mood is likely to change after people have consumed such large amounts of food, the researchers explain. The results of the study show that the participants became sleepy and lethargic within four hours after a maximum meal.

Participants did not want any sweet desserts

Another unexpected effect of the extreme food intake was that the participants refused sweet sweets after the meal. This suggests that eating affected the brain’s reward centers, the research team reports. Typically, eating foods like pizza rarely affects the brain’s craving for sweets.

Dangers from regular consumption of too much food

The study says that eating twice as much doesn’t cause an acute change in health, but you shouldn’t consume as much food on a regular basis. Because the more often such high amounts of food are ingested, the faster you will develop overweight. The main problem with overeating is that the body stores excess energy in the form of fat, which can lead to obesity if you eat too much every day. However, if an otherwise healthy person only eats too much occasionally, this has no immediate negative consequences, the research group concluded. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Aaron Hengist, Robert M. Edinburgh, Russell G. Davies, Jean-Philippe Walhin, Jariya Buniam et al.: Physiological responses to maximal eating in men, in British Journal of Nutrition (veröffentlicht Volume 124, Issue 4, Page 407-417, 28.08.2020), British Journal of Nutrition

Important NOTE:
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.