Today the Center for Consumer Freedom criticized the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s over-the-top “Xteme Eating Awards.” The semi-annual awards “honor” restaurants for their high-calorie menu items.

J. Justin Wilson, Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom, released the following statement on CSPI’s latest media ploy:

The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s “Xtreme Eating Awards” is just another way to chastise the American public for occasionally indulging in life’s simpler pleasures. The notorious self-proclaimed “food cops” appear to fundamentally disagree with the notion of personal responsibility in choosing what we eat. Instead, they believe they know what’s best for the American public, no matter how bland it might taste.

CSPI’s calorie-policing misses the point: Food is only one factor among many in living a healthy, active lifestyle. Any educated nutritionist would agree that obesity rates in America are largely the result of an imbalance between calories-in and calories-out. Any couch-potato pointing to a single food as the reason for their belly bulge is placing blame in the wrong direction.

Restaurants and food companies are in the business of pleasing customers — not eliminating consumers’ choices to meet the demands of health zealots. Nevertheless, it seems that CSPI won’t be happy until restaurants replace their cheeseburgers and pasta with carrot sticks and quinoa salads.