Filed Under: Snacks

The 2000 ‘Nanny Of The Year’ Award Goes To…

The Center for Science in the Public Interest and its founder Michael Jacobson – The nannies at CSPI will do and say almost anything to get the government to slap a “Twinkie tax” on the foods they don’t want us to eat. And their campaign is working: CSPI actually presented their fat-tax proposal at the USDA National Nutrition Summit last spring.

But it was the lengths to which CSPI shamelessly stretched the truth in pursuit of the “Twinkie tax” that set the group apart from the pack and earned them the coveted “Nanny of the Year” award. Consider just one example: In an effort to incite a public panic over the so-called “obesity epidemic,” CSPI took out a newspaper ad in The Washington Post claiming that high-calorie foods “kill more people than tobacco.” In it, CSPI declared that obesity is responsible for “more than $71 billion a year in added health-care and related costs.”

According to the USDA, which CSPI cited as the source of the “$71 billion” claim, obesity is a “factor” in the “incidence of…diabetes, hypertension and stroke, osteoporosis, heart disease and some types of cancer.” And it is these ailments – and not obesity – which “cost society an estimated $71 billion.”

It’s not the first time CSPI has fudged the numbers to make a point. In its 1998 report complaining about the amount of soda children drink, CSPI claimed teenage boys drank more than three cans of soda a day and teenage girls drank more than two cans a day. Turns out the correct amount is only half that, according to a correction CSPI ran…one week after the media picked up their story. For more information on this year’s “Nanny of the Year,” go to

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