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The Study Claiming That Blotting Your Pizza Saves Calories Might Have Been A Marketing Campaign

True or false: Blotting your pizza before eating will save you a ton of calories, prevent you from gaining weight, and make your life perfect.

Maybe you've seen a few articles about how blotting your pizza with a paper towel can eliminate 4.5 grams of fat and 41 calories.

Which means, as this infographic shows, that if you dab every slice you eat for a year, you'll eat 6,600 fewer calories than if you didn't dab.

Which means — if 3,500 calories equals 1 pound — almost 2 fewer pounds gained.

This is also considering you're the average American who eats about 23 pounds of 'za (or 87 slices) yearly.


Wait, what?

All you have to do is dab every slice you eat for a year and you're down 2 pounds?

Well, not quite. First of all, you might not be eating 87 slices of pizza per year. But assuming you are, would the rest of the science be accurate?

It turns out that the data comes from a study done at least 15 years ago by Georgia-Pacific Health Smart Institute.


The study is quoted as having found that up to 17% of the pie's saturated fat can be removed by way of the "pizza pat," the process of laying a folded paper towel atop a slice and patting it before flipping it and patting again.

Georgia-Pacific Health Smart Institute is an initiative of Georgia-Pacific, which makes paper products like the paper towel you might blot your pizza with.

So, wait, could this all have been a marketing campaign for paper towels?

MTV / Via

Since the study is no longer available, we couldn't verify its claims or ask an expert to do so. But we did ask the nutritionist cited in the infographic her thoughts.

Paramount Pictures / Via

The infographic cites this recap of a Good Morning America segment from about 15 years ago as a source. On that segment nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, MS, CDN, FACSM, talked about pizza dabbing.

She told BuzzFeed Life that if people want to dab, there's nothing wrong with it. But even if you do dab, "pizza still has plenty of fat," so you're not really offsetting your fat intake in a meaningful way. She said that whether or not you dab "is not going to make or break your total eating plan."

If you're a devoted blotter, it may reassure you that in 2013 the Food Network show Food Detectives shared similar results.

Facebook: FoodDetectivesDiscovery

(But they didn't exactly show their work.)

Since the science is iffy, we put it to you:

  1. What do you think: Blot or not blot?

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What do you think: Blot or not blot?
    vote votes
    No! It ruins the purity of the pizza!
    vote votes
    Blot all day! Scram, grease!
    vote votes
    Depends. If the slice is crazy oily, you bet I'm blotting.

Thumbnails via Tojosan/Creative Commons and Lucas Richarz/Creative Commons

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