(NEW YORK) -- While the U.S. government fights an increasing national waistline through anti-obesity campaigns, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture is on a crusade to up the national intake of cheese and other dairy products.
Dairy Management, a USDA marketing agency, recently worked with the Domino's Pizza chain to increase sales at the flagging national franchise operation, by getting the chain to put 40 percent more cheese on its pies and by paying for a $12 million marketing campaign. The New York Times says it worked, consumers went crazy for the new pies and sales soared by double digits.
Americans have been moving away from whole milk products, like most cheeses, for years, with plenty of encouragement from the USDA. First lady Michelle Obama earlier this year launched an effort encouraging restaurants to include healthier items on their menus. But Dairy Management has been working the past several years with restaurants to increase the use of cheese and other dairy products, with approval from both Bush and Obama administration officials.
Dairy Management is largely financed, at $140 million a year, by a fee on dairy producers but The New York Times says it also receives funding from the Agriculture Department. The department periodically reports to congress on its activities.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio