Meet Dan – The man who has eaten but nothing but pizza for 25 years

By admin
25 April 2014

Dan Janssen has a tough problem - he's a vegetarian who hates vegetables. But he's come up with a tasty, albeit unhealthy, solution. He eats only pizza.

Dan Janssen has a tough problem - he's a vegetarian who hates vegetables. But he's come up with a tasty, albeit unhealthy solution. He eats only pizza. The 38-year-old of Maryland in the US has eaten nothing but pizza for the past 25 years. The vegetarian woodworker says a few traumatic experiences during his childhood have shaped his dietary choices.

When he was about four at pre-school his teacher would try to feed him Brunswick stew every day, which consists of chicken, port, or rabbit with beef and okra, lima beans, corn, potatoes, and tomatoes.

Dan hated the stuff, and would try to run away from his teacher who would grab him. He was thrown in a cupboard as punishment, where he would cry and scream for a few hours until his mom came. “When I was five, I was in the backyard. My sister fed me some mushrooms, which turned out to be poisonous, and I had to be rushed to the hospital,” Dan says. He was fine after that, but the experience caused a host of issues regarding food. Since the age of 15 or 16, Dan has been a vegetarian for ethical reasons though. “I still love the taste of meat and I still love it to this day but due to my beliefs, I gave it up,” he says.

He munches an entire large pizza, measuring about 35 cm, on a daily basis.

Dan’s aversion to meat is coupled with his hatred for vegetables. In a practical sense then, his love of pizza makes sense. “I’ve been eating pizza exclusively every day of my life for the past 25 years and I’m not just talking about a slice of pizza every day.”

He munches an entire large pizza, measuring about 35 cm, on a daily basis.

“I only eat cheese pizza. I never get sick of it. If I go to one pizza shop or another brand, it’s like eating a completely different meal.”

Despite Dan’s ideal meal, he is a diabetic, and frequently suffers from low blood sugar. He has blacked out on the kitchen floor before when his blood sugar drops into the danger zone, and has written off a brand-new car after blacking out.

Dan sees a therapist for his food aversion issues, where they explore the reasons behind his extremely limited diet.

However it appears that his exclusively pizza diet works for him. “I’m thin. I have tons of energy, and I feel great every day, so there might be something to the exclusive pizza diet.”

Dan isn’t the first person who eats selectively. Remember the British woman who eats nothing by two large packets of beef flavoured crisps a day? Debbie Taylor has been doing that for over 10 years. And there's the woman from the Isle of Wight who has only eaten 2-minute noodles for over 13 years.

These people all suffer from the little studied phenomena of selective eating, described by the Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry Journal as the phenomena of eating a highly limited range of foods. This is associated with an unwillingness to try new foods. Selective eating is common in toddlers, and can persist into childhood an adolescent, where it can cause social avoidance, anxiety and conflict.

Vice.com, Mirror.co.uk, Nydailynews.com, sagepub.com

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