1. In February 2014, Vice introduced the world to Dan Janssen – a man who has apparently mainly lived off of pizza for the last 25 years.
Janssen says he doesn’t eat pizza for every meal, but that he does eat it every day of his life.
2. Now Vice has produced a short documentary about the self-declared King of Pizza, who says the original article made him “famous”.
Now, he says, “Whenever anyone talks about me in the news, I get: ‘You’re our hero! I wish I could do that!’”
But he also gets people saying, “You’re horribly unhealthy and you’re gonna die.” To which Janssen shrugs and says, “Yeah, we’re all gonna die. But I’m gonna die with pizza in my stomach.”
3. Janssen has diabetes, but says the only doctor that isn’t happy with his diet is his endocrinologist. He claims all of his other doctors tell him: “Your cholesterol is fine. You seem healthy. Keep doing what you’re doing.”
His fiancée, Madeline, on the other hand, is worried about his health and has tried to encourage him to eat other things.
4. Janssen is a vegetarian, but doesn’t like vegetables. Madeline attempts to get him to put vegetables on his pizza anyway, even though he makes this face when he has to eat them:
“I don’t like vegetables. Why would I eat a pizza with mushrooms when I like a standard cheese pizza?”
5. Madeline, who says she is a “picky” eater – albeit a healthier one than Janssen – finds his pizza eating “really endearing”, but has also encouraged him to see a therapist about his issues with food.
Janssen says he “recognises that he has a very strong food aversion” and that he doesn’t “eat things normal people eat”.
The video features Dr Greg Chasson, who says that food aversions such as Janssen’s stem from experiences as a child, and even as an adolescent and adult, but that food aversions aren’t necessarily a problem “until they become one” and start to have an impact on daily life.
6. Janssen says that his pizza diet doesn’t seem to affect his diabetes, and insists that his blood work from his doctors says he’s healthy.
“I do want to try and expand my diet, but pizza will always be a part of who I am.”
7. Interestingly, despite being the King of Pizza and eating it almost exclusively for the last 25 years, Janssen still manages to burn his mouth on recently cooked frozen pizza.
8. You can watch all of Vice’s short documentary on Janssen here:
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