Social engineering may soon join frivolous litigation, junk science, and other dubious tactics employed by Michael Jacobson and his prune squad at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The group recently resorted to trickery in order to manipulate the public to order the food deemed "healthy" by CSPI’s standards.
CSPI is demanding that restaurants plaster the calorie count of every single food item across the menu. (And in some cases, the group has tried to do it for them.) In addition to practical and legal snafus, mandatory menu labeling would limit the amount of nutrition information currently provided by restaurants’ voluntary systems (posters, brochures, websites, and 1-800 numbers) to only include calories. By excluding all other nutrition facts from immediate consideration, the food cops would indoctrinate consumers with the notion that "calories are what counts." But are they?
Nutritionists agree that there is no single ideal diet plan for the whole nation. And the USDA’s food pyramid affirms that "One size doesn’t fit all." In order to determine a person’s nutritional needs, dieticians must consider his or her age, gender, height, medical status, daily schedule, activity level, likes, dislikes, and more. (That’s definitely not going to fit on a menu.)
Each of these factors weighs differently from person to person. One infamous study done a few years ago found that, when given the exact same food, people who enjoyed a meal absorbed more nutrients than those who did not. And there’s no space in a "Nutrition Facts" box to list "pleasure".
By boiling down countless considerations for a healthy diet into a single nutrient, CSPI is sending a dangerous message (bolded and in red, no less). The food cops have arrogantly decided that they know what’s best for you — what’s best for all of us. But thankfully, science says otherwise.