How Pizza Hut Once Argued That Pizza Is 'Good For You'

There's a running joke, and Reddit thread to back it up, that pizza is actually a vegetable, making it a "healthy" snack or meal option, despite evidence to the contrary. According to Hometown Source, some people really do believe pizza should be classified as a vegetable, and no it's not just your little brother. They say that the USDA notes that, although tomatoes are technically a fruit, they are actually considered the second-most consumed vegetable in the U.S. due largely to its consumption in sauce form. 

NPR notes that, to count as a vegetable, pizza has to have "about one-half cup of tomato paste" to actually qualify as containing one serving of vegetables — aka more tomato paste than anyone needs. In 2011, they mentioned the House of Representatives' agriculture appropriations bill, which attempted to override the tomato paste numbers, making the "Pizza-As-A-Vegetable rule" likely. But despite the jokes, many acknowledge that its more of an unhealthy option. So how did Pizza Hut convince people otherwise?

Inside Pizza Hut's 'Pizza is Good for You' campaign

Snopes found that apparently Pizza Hut launched an ad campaign highlighting that the pizza meat was "high in protein, modest in calories, and containing many essential nutrients," with the tagline "Pizza Delicious. Pizza Nutritious." The Snopes team did some sleuthing and uncovered the original ad from 1977, which was featured in special edition DC comics and contained calorie information for a three-slice serving of two of its popular pies, the Thin 'N Crispy Pizza and the Thick 'N Chewy Pizza.

As Is it Bad for You says, Pizza Hut is not necessarily bad for you, as "an occasional indulgence is not harmful," but it can be "when consumed excessively." So their campaign may not have been wrong, per se, nor was the idea behind the pizza as a vegetable push, but just make sure to remember to take everything, including Pizza Hut's so-called "healthy" pizza with a side of moderation.