Filed Under: Food Police

War On Fat: CSPI Grabs A Slice

News flash from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI): Pizzas have cheese on them!

CSPI — “the folks who took the sizzle out of movie popcorn and the fun out of fettuccine alfredo” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution — is now up in arms over pizza, stating the obvious in unnecessarily frightening terms.

“Add beef to your pizza at your own risk,” CSPI warns — once again suggesting that consumers are too stupid to decide for themselves what to eat. (In another shocker, CSPI adds that side dishes add more calories!)

It’s just CSPI again “targeting another of America’s favorite food items.” Even CNN called CSPI’s pizza patrolling an activity of “the food police.” CSPI published the results of its pizza “study” in its Nutrition Action Healthletter — a subscription publication. CSPI’s goal is to sell as many newsletters as possible, and the anti-pizza effort is just the latest ploy.

In addition to the newsletter, CSPI is now selling a book — with a suitably sensationalistic title. Restaurant Confidential claims to be an expose of the contents of restaurant food, but a lot of it is a rehash of restaurant-supplied nutritional analyses. The result is CSPI’s “guide to what’s bad (a lot) and what’s good (not much),” the Journal-Constitution writes — after all, this is an organization whose leader has joked, “CSPI is proud about finding something wrong with practically everything.”

Part of the plan is to select dishes far larger than anyone would consume at once, and claim it to be a single portion. On CNN recently, Restaurant Confidential co-author Jayne Hurley claimed a “portion” of cheese fries with ranch dressing contained a whopping 3,000 calories.

The problem: The plate was a large plate meant to be shared; skeptical host Paula Zahn asked Hurley: “Is that a portion or about four portions?” She responded: “That’s considered a portion.”

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