ABC Joins CSPI Attack on Restaurants
The broadcast networks just canâ€™t get enough of the food police.
ABC joined in August 4 with a â€śGood Morning Americaâ€ť 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).
â€śThe Center for Science in the Public Interest investigated the countryâ€™s top 25 chain restaurants and found that in most, over 90 percent of the kidâ€™s menu meals packed way too many calories,â€ť correspondent Ynji De Nies said.
But her statement that â€śin most, over 90 percent â€¦ packed way too many caloriesâ€ť is incorrect. The CSPI report found that more than 90 percent of kidâ€™s 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 kidâ€™s meals. â€śA restaurant menu is a minefield and the explosions are going to be in your stomach, your arteries, your heart,â€ť he said.
Jacobson dramatically warned that kids would face severe medical problems because of fast food. â€śObesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, thatâ€™s what coming down the road,â€ť he said.
De Nies included some input from the industry. National Restaurant Association spokeswoman Sheila Weiss noted that nutrition information is available â€śnot just on the Web sites but in the restaurants as well on brochures and tray liners and posters.â€ť
And statements from Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken said they offer â€śa number of kidâ€™s meal options that allow parents to customize.â€ť KFC called the CSPI report â€śinaccurate.â€ť
But De Nies immediately moved to undermine the restaurantsâ€™ defense by quoting one anonymous woman who said, â€śYou ask for side options besides French fries with a kids meal and they look at you like you have two heads.â€ť
The segment also ignored parentsâ€™ responsibility to choose food for their children wisely. Instead, it implicitly placed responsibility on restaurants to keep kids healthy.