Big Fat Lies (page 81)

Attacking Restaurants Now And Later

Jumping on the anti-choice bandwagon, the USA Today's Greg Crister blasts fast food restaurants, blaming them for American's obesity problems, and calls for more government action to fight the problem. Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle ominously predicts, "Government intrusion into those lifestyle choices and the inevitable lawsuits against food processors and purveyors are probably the next steps along the path, if the anti- tobacco effort is illustrative." ("Junk food," Houston Chronicle, 6/5/00.)
Posted June 6, 2000 at 12:00 am

CQ’s Unsuitable View Of Popular Restaurant Fare

1998 Nanny of the Year Kelly Brownell of Yale University is at it again. He tells fashion mag "GQ" that Americans face "a landscape of mini-marts, value packs, [and] fast-food restaurants open twenty-four hours a day" and "a media saturated with Eat! Eat! Eat! messages… [T]his has influenced our eating habits more than all the doctors' good advice and all the memories of learning the food pyramid." Another "health guru," Dr. Andrew Weil, complains that Americans have "the worst diet in the world." ("American Booty," GQ, May 2000.)
Posted May 4, 2000 at 12:00 am

Just Blame It On Restaurants

The USA Today, the New Orleans Times-Picayune ("Video games, fast food take some blame for overweight kids," 5/1/00), and the Brown University Daily Herald feature articles attempting to place blame for rising obesity rates on fast food restaurants.
Posted May 2, 2000 at 12:00 am

Fast Food Fearing

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton blames obesity on "fast food and lack of exercise." Testifying before a House subcommittee on her "Lifelong Improvements in Food and Exercise Bill to Combat Overweight and Obesity," Norton called for $30 million to fund federal programs that will "change lifelong lifestyle habits." (Federal News Service, 4/13/00.)
Posted April 18, 2000 at 12:00 am

Myth Becoming Fact

If something is repeated enough times, eventually it becomes accepted as fact, even if there is no scientific proof to back it up. In a story on the effect of marketing to children, reporter Peggy O'Crowley baselessly links obesity rates to the marketing and consumption of fast food.
Posted March 27, 2000 at 12:00 am

The Blaming Restaurants Bandwagon Gets A New Member

Writer Daria MonDesire is the latest journalist to take a swipe at restaurants. In the USA Today, she says, "We are killing ourselves with food. We are committing mass suicide on a scale that makes Jonestown seem like a mere burp." And she calls fast-food employees "perky agent[s] of ill health.
Posted March 24, 2000 at 12:00 am

More Blame Cast At Restaurants

Syndicated columnist Mona Charen joins a growing chorus of journalists, activists and public officials blaming restaurants for the obesity epidemic. "Restaurants have been steadily increasing portion sizes to the point where a small elephant would be satisfied with the fare at most chains... The Great American Lunch -- a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke -- probably contains more calories than most people need for an entire day and enough fat to last a week." (Washington Times, "Weighed Debate on Dieting")
Posted March 21, 2000 at 12:00 am

Media demonizing of restaurants continues

In covering Harper's magazine's recent absurd story linking obesity and restaurants, Boston Globe correspondent Cynthia Dockrell draws the unfounded conclusion that, "[I]t's enough to say tha the fast food industry, with its cheap super-size meals, is largely to blame [for obesity]. Children and teens are especially vulnerable to the harm done by aggressive marketing at Burger-and-fries chains, because, while being persuaded to save money by buying bigger, young consumers are eating themselves into a metabolic nightmare." ("Literary Life," The Boston Globe, 3/1/00)
Posted March 16, 2000 at 12:00 am

Nannies’ Attacks On Restaurant Food And Marketing Continues

In reporting on a study showing some teenagers are suffering from problems associated with obesity, CNN correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, without any scientific evidence, places the blame on restaurant food.
Posted March 14, 2000 at 12:00 am

Obesity Epidemic, Restaurants, And Marketing To Children

MSNBC focuses on marketing to children and, in the process, baselessly blames restaurants for the so-called obesity epidemic and soft drink producers for calcium deficiency in children. "Obesity rates in kids have skyrocketed, [child advocates] point out, as children eat more prepared and fast foods… As soft drink ads have increased, milk consumption has plummeted, leading to calcium deficiency in many children." As expected, MSNBC made no effort to offer a rebuttal to these outlandish charges.
Posted March 8, 2000 at 12:00 am