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Ellicott City Man Becomes National Sensation for Pizza Addiction

The Ellicott City resident and entrepreneur subsists on pizza.

Dan Janssen eats two 14-inch pizza pies daily. (Credit: Exeter Patch/900 Degrees)
Dan Janssen eats two 14-inch pizza pies daily. (Credit: Exeter Patch/900 Degrees)
Dan Janssen of Ellicott City has made headlines across the nation this week for his unusual diet.

Janssen, who is 38, has eaten pizza daily for the past 23 years—usually about two 14-inch pies a day.

"Everyone who knows Dan wonders how he's still alive," according to VICE, the first media outlet to bring the Ellicott City man's habits out from the shadows of a pizza box.

Now, his story has been covered by People magazineNew York Daily NewsReddit and The Today Show.

When he was 14, Janssen became a vegetarian for ethical reasons, according to The Today Show, which reported there was just one problem: "I hate vegetables,'' Janssen said. "I tried for maybe a couple weeks, and then I realized the thing I really like is pizza, so I'm going to eat that."

When he was in college, Janssen worked at Domino's Pizza to help support his habit, according to The Baltimore Sun.

These days, he owns Imperium Woodcraft in Ellicott City, which produces handcrafted grooming accessories, like wooden handles for razors. Last week when news of the owner's diet surfaced, the store tweeted: "Maybe that's the key to his woodworking skills?"

Recently, someone in his life has started working on him to think outside the pie.

At the behest of his fiancee, Janssen began seeing a nutritionist, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Since seeking counseling for his food aversion, Janssen told VICE he has recalled that when he was four or five years old, he was fed poisonous mushrooms by his sister and was locked in a closet or beaten at a daycare provider's home in the backwoods of North Carolina for refusing to eat mystery meat stew.

Janssen has a health condition that adds another layer of complexity to his situation. He has diabetes, the genetic kind, but reportedly said his blood work always comes back fine and his doctors, with the exception of one a few years ago, said he was in good health.

Regularly, Janssen rides 30 or 40 miles on his bike, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Once a week, "to be healthy," he eats a bowl of Raisin Bran, according to The Today Show.

When it comes to pizza, he only eats one kind—cheese—and his favorite pizza to date came more than 10 years ago from a chain called Pontillo's in Rochester, NY, according to VICE, which reported these days he can be found dropping in at Joe Squared in Baltimore after visiting his therapist.

"If I could say anything to the men of the world, it's 'You can do it," Janssen told The Baltimore Sun. "You can eat two 14-inch pizzas a day and be fine."
big bri March 04, 2014 at 05:42 PM
I let all the women eat my banana.
Dedicated March 04, 2014 at 06:35 PM
"According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 60% of cancers of the throat, tonsils and the base of tongue — are related to HPV."
J Leland April 01, 2014 at 01:40 PM
A "national sensation"? Really?

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