Diet scold Marion Nestle, who was the keynote speaker at last month’s obesity lawsuit conference and complains that food is too cheap in America, went off the deep end yesterday. Echoing the lawsuit-happy John Banzhaf, who told a May 2003 food policy conference that personal responsibility is “crap,” Nestle said on CNN that she doesn’t support “balance, moderation, and exercise” when it comes to food choices.

Nestle also argued that parents probably can’t be expected to exercise any authority over their children’s diets. Here’s what she said during a heated exchange with the National Restaurant Association’s Kristin Nolt:

NESTLE: …Now, you can argue that parents should have that responsibility, but most parents that I know don’t want to argue with their kids about food. They are worried about personal safety — they are worried about…sex, drugs and alcohol. And those are the kinds of things that they are deeply concerned about. If the child just wants some cereal product or some junkie food, they don’t want to draw the line on that. I mean, I have a lot of sympathy for that.

NOLT: I would think that you would encourage parents to talk to their kids about good food choices.

NESTLE: And I do.

NOLT: To point out that balance, moderation and exercise, which are three things the National Restaurant Association and the industry support …

NESTLE: Actually, I don’t support that.

NOLT: You don’t support balance, moderation and exercise?

NESTLE: Only in theory. Only in theory.