Beer and Pizza: College Staple Foods
Each second in the United States, 350 slices of pizza are consumed, totaling approximately 100 acres of pizza per day, according to the National Association of Pizza Operators. Pizza and its regular companion beer are arguably the most popular food and beverage consumed by college students.
"There is no easier combination than beer and pizza, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call and order it. No putting it in the microwave, no making anything, it's already ready for you, just give them $10 and you have a pizza," said Matt Steiner, a junior at Niagara University.
"Beer is always in anybody's refrigerator no matter what, it's good to drink, who cares what it's going to do later for you. Have fun and live life. This is college," said Steiner.
Pizza has long been a college favorite because of its low-cost and availability. According to the general manager of Dominos Pizza on Sheridan Drive, the establishment sells 750 pizzas on a typical Friday night.
Putnam's Student Manager Will Mitchell said that during the 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. lunch rush, Della Suprema sells over 100 personal pan pizzas. Over the course of the day, approximately 200 pizzas are sold in the Student Union.
Every year, each man, woman, and child eats an average of 46 slices, or about 23 pounds, of pizza annually, all of which contribute to a $30 billion-per-year pizza industry, according to Domino's Web site.
Beer, although not as easily obtained and restricted to the over-21 bracket, is another unhealthy staple of college life. Though the malt beverage is extremely popular in a variety of forms, beer is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.
According to iVillage.com, a 12-ounce beer, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, contains 148 calories. One six-pack of beer contains over 800 calories, and that is without the accompanying pizza and wings. A light beer contains around 100 calories.
Drinking a single 12-ounce beer every night for seven days totals over 1,300 calories per week. Combined with leading an inactive lifestyle, this consumption could potentially lead to a one-pound weight gain per month.
Pizza shares similarly unhealthy nutritional statistics.
In Putnam's Della Suprema, each personal pizza contains approximately 120 calories, 30 from the sauce and 90 from the cheese, according to Mitchell.
A typical 12-inch medium pizza from Dominos contains 374 calories with 11 grams of total fat. A 14-inch large Dominos Ultimate Deep Dish pizza has 676 calories with nearly 30 grams of fat, not including additional toppings. Adding pepperoni, sausage or extra cheese to the mix only boosts the caloric and fat content.
"Beer and pizza are two of the greatest cuisines ever. They should claim the spot at the top of the food pyramid. I've been very sick off of both, too many times to remember, but not to the point where I didn't do it all over again the very next night," said junior UB student Mike Talarico.
"You only live once, so I'd rather have fun while I am able to, than wish I did when I can't," he added.