Volunteers ate a ton of pizza to prove occasional overeating is low risk

A new study details the results of having healthy men under the age of 40 'stuff' themselves with large quantities of pizza in order to demonstrate how the body handles this excessive indulgence. The results were somewhat surprising, though they come with an important caveat. Despite eating double the amount needed to feel full, the participants' bodies were able to cope with the excessive pizza.

It's easy to overeat, particularly in a society offering an abundance of cheap, tasty high-calorie foods. Eating too much has obvious side effects — someone may feel sick if they overeat to an extreme degree, while lesser indulgences may result in sleepiness, lethargy, disruption to one's appetite, and similar temporary states.

Ultimately, however, the new study from the University of Bath found that the bodies of otherwise healthy, relatively young people can handle too much food...assuming the overeating is only an occasional practice. To demonstrate this, the researchers had healthy men between the ages of 22 and 37 eat double their normal amount of pizza. The average intake per participant was more than 3,000 calories.

Some of the participants were able to eat up to 2.5 pizzas as part of their involvement in the study. Despite this, the researchers found that the participants' blood sugar levels remained in the normal range and the blood levels of triglycerides were only slightly increased. However, the participants did report feeling tired four hours after eating and they had no desire to eat any additional food at that time.

The researcher who oversaw the study, Professor James Betts, explained:

The main problem with overeating is that it adds more stored energy to our bodies (in the form of fat), which can culminate in obesity if you overeat day after day. However, this study shows that if an otherwise healthy person overindulges occasionally, for example eating a large buffet meal or Christmas lunch, then there are no immediate negative consequences in terms of losing metabolic control.