WASHINGTON—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—a nonprofit with 12,000 doctor members—is denouncing the U.S. government for partnering with Pizza Hut to add 25 percent more cheese to the company’s pan pizza in 6,000 U.S. locations. The plan will require 150 million more pounds of milk to produce the cheese.
“Dairy Management Inc.’s partnership with Pizza Hut is just a ploy to shore up the sinking dairy industry,” says Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, M.D., author of The Cheese Trap. “The USDA tells Americans to limit saturated fat and sodium in the Dietary Guidelines and then turns around and partners with Pizza Hut to get Americans to eat more cheese—the leading source of saturated fat and sodium in the American diet.”
Dairy Management Inc. is a corporation overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose function is to boost milk sales. DMI spends millions of dollars working with fast-food chains to develop cheesy, high-fat menu items and promote them to the American public.
The average American eats 33 pounds of cheese per year. That adds up to more than 60,000 calories per person—mostly in the form of saturated fat. Cheese is the No. 1 source of saturated fat in the American diet. It’s the type of “bad” fat responsible for raising cholesterol levels and increasing the risk for heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Dairy protein, which is even more concentrated in cheese, has been linked to allergies, asthma, migraines, arthritis, psoriasis, tendonitis, acne, digestion problems, and more.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.