Americans love their pizza. Even the government has taken the time to quantify this love in a survey that detailed just how much pizza Americans eat.
Furthermore, as if this was not enough, US policy seems to be fueling efforts and channeling funds into creating even more demand for pizza.
In a new survey led by Donna G. Rhodes, a nutritionist for the US Department of Agriculture, it was found that 13 percent of Americans aged 2 years old and above eat pizza on any given day. This is more than 1 of out 8 Americans, who spend up to $37 billion a year on pizza, which is a third of the share of the global market for pizza.
Those aged 6 to 19 years accounted for 22 percent of pizza consumption, and those aged 60 years and over accounted for 6 percent of total pizza consumption. Those aged 20-39 consumed 14.5 percent of the total, while those aged 40-59 consumed 10 percent of all pizzas consumed in the country on any given day.
It was also found out in the survey that pizza accounted for 29 percent of daily food energy intake in adults, and 25 percent among children. Pizza accounted for 39 percent of saturated fat intake in adults and 33 percent in children, and 38 percent of sodium intake in adults and 33 percent in children.
On any given day, pizza provides 4 percent of the total caloric intake for American adults, and 6 percent for children. Males consumed more pizza than females.
But don't blame it all on the pizza lovers. The government may just have had a hand in it, with its "dairy checkoff program," in which a levy is placed on milk at 15 cents for every hundredweight of milk sold. The funds gathered from this levy -- $202 million in 2011 alone -- were channeled to promote products like milk and cheese.
So how does this translate to a higher demand for and consumption of pizza? Since 25 percent of the nation's cheese is used on pizza, promoting cheese under the dairy checkoff program is tantamount to promoting pizza.
The government's dairy checkoff program has allowed dairy farmers to earn an additional revenue of $4.43 for every $1 that the USDA spends on efforts to increase demand for cheese. The agency has also spent $35 million to help boost the sales of Domino's pizza in 2009. In addition, the effort is not limited to pizza. The program has been known to have helped McDonald's boost sales of its McCafe specialty coffees and three new kinds of burgers that contain two slices of cheese. Yoplait has also developed a new yogurt chip with the help of funds generated from the program.