WASHINGTON, DC – Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) criticized the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) latest media ploy that erroneously takes several national restaurants to task for what they deem to be “unhealthy” children’s menus. CSPI announced the results of its research into children’s menus during a news conference today at 1:00 pm EST.

J. Justin Wilson, Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom released the following statement in response to CSPI’s report:

When it comes to childhood obesity, the Center for Science in the Public Interest is missing the forest for the trees. Childhood obesity is a result of a myriad of factors, not just restaurant offerings. Regulating kids’ menus to only offer quinoa salads isn’t going to make any measurable weight difference in America’s youth.

Just last month a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found children were actually eating fewer calories but still not shedding weight largely due to decreases in physical activity levels compared to prior decades. Instead of finger-wagging at restaurants for media attention, CSPI should be promoting walking to school and physical education courses. Furthermore, restaurants are already offering reduced calorie options for kids including apples, chicken breasts, veggie options, and milk.

There are two sides to the obesity equation: calories in (food) versus calories out (exercise). It is disingenuous to suggest some sort of French fry prohibition on kids’ menus will be the cure-all to children’s weight problems.