ABC Joins CSPI Attack on Restaurants
The broadcast networks just canât get enough of the food police.
ABC joined in August 4 with a âGood Morning Americaâ segment taken straight from a new report by the self-proclaimed food police at the liberal, pro-regulation Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
âThe Center for Science in the Public Interest investigated the countryâs top 25 chain restaurants and found that in most, over 90 percent of the kidâs menu meals packed way too many calories,â correspondent Ynji De Nies said.
But her statement that âin most, over 90 percent âŠ packed way too many caloriesâ is incorrect. The CSPI report found that more than 90 percent of kidâs meal combinations surpassed the 430-calorie mark in nine restaurants â or 36 percent of the restaurants studied.
De Niesâ segment featured CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson stirring up fear over kidâs meals. âA restaurant menu is a minefield and the explosions are going to be in your stomach, your arteries, your heart,â he said.
Jacobson dramatically warned that kids would face severe medical problems because of fast food. âObesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, thatâs what coming down the road,â he said.
De Nies included some input from the industry. National Restaurant Association spokeswoman Sheila Weiss noted that nutrition information is available ânot just on the Web sites but in the restaurants as well on brochures and tray liners and posters.â
And statements from Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken said they offer âa number of kidâs meal options that allow parents to customize.â KFC called the CSPI report âinaccurate.â
But De Nies immediately moved to undermine the restaurantsâ defense by quoting one anonymous woman who said, âYou ask for side options besides French fries with a kids meal and they look at you like you have two heads.â
The segment also ignored parentsâ responsibility to choose food for their children wisely. Instead, it implicitly placed responsibility on restaurants to keep kids healthy.