In order to prevent unusually hard tests from misrepresenting students’ actual knowledge, some instructors "curve" grades when the majority of a class bombs an exam. After unfairly receiving a failing grade for their nutritional knowledge from the food scolds at the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), West Coast consumers deserve a curve.
The first clue that CCPHA’s survey — which supposedly tests a consumer’s ability to select the healthiest choices among menu options — was a poor barometer of nutrition savvy came when a public health Ph.D. (Executive Director Harold Goldstein) couldn’t even answer all four questions correctly.
Goldstein told the Los Angeles Times today that "you could be blindfolded throwing a dart at the menu board, and you’ve got a better chance at making the healthy choice." But his poll didn’t offer participants a fair chance at making a healthy choice, because the options were not representative of menus which often include everything from fruit cups to deep fried pies.
Instead, Goldstein’s quiz was crafted so that most choices were almost identical. For instance, one question testing consumers’ knowledge of energy lists only calorie-dense selections such as two Big Macs, two Egg McMuffins or four regular hamburgers.
So it’s hard to tell apples from apples — big surprise. If consumers couldn’t compare apples to orange chicken, that would be a different story.