Lifestyle & Human Interest

Italian Scientist Who Studied Link Between Pizza and Decreased Cancer Risk Wins Eccentric Award


An Italian scientist has determined that eating pizza made and consumed in Italy may be beneficial to your health, confirming your hunch that your heart, soul and stomach belong in the Mediterranean.

Dr. Silvano Gallus, an epidemiologist in Milan, has made headlines for his research work indicating that pizza may prevent illness — provided the pizza is Italian through and through.

On Sept. 12, at the 29th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony held at Harvard University, Gallus received an eccentric award for his unusual research: the Ig Nobel prize.

The playful award, given by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine, is designed to give people a reason to chuckle and inspire thoughtfulness.

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The Improbable Research program exists to “honor achievements that make people LAUGH, and then THINK [and] to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.”

Gallus’ award came after he published three papers between 2003 and 2006 that suggested pizza made and consumed in Italy may reduce the risk of heart attacks and different types of cancer.

Gallus was quick to point out that Italian pizza in and of itself is not the shining star health food that saves lives, but is indicative of how people in Italy regularly eat — a Mediterranean diet, which typically includes fish, olive oil, tomatoes and fresh vegetables.

“What did we find in our research? We found that analyzing data from a combination of large Italian epidemiological studies, we found that people who regularly consumed pizza had a decreased risk of digestive cancer and myocardial infarction,” Gallus said during his speech, Fox News reported.

“Our interpretation is that pizza may represent a general indication, a marker, of the Italian diet that, as other Mediterranean diets [have], has been shown to have major health benefits,” Gallus said.

“In conclusion, we recommend eating Italian pizza, but please, please hold the pepperoni for health reasons.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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