Washington, DC – Today a new report commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration will recommend that U.S. restaurants reduce portion sizes, serve high calorie foods with lighter sides, advertise healthier foods, and provide greater access to nutritional information. On its way to restricting consumer choices, the report inappropriately singles out the restaurant industry as a leading cause of obesity, ignores the impact of Americans’ shrinking exercise habits, and dismisses the role of personal responsibility in dietary choices.
Center for Consumer Freedom research analyst J. Justin Wilson said: “This report ignores the best science about obesity. It implies that a picture of a salad will entice consumers to choose it over a burger, and that the public is too stupid to recognize the difference between the two.”
Study upon study has demonstrated that obesity rates in America are largely the result of an imbalance between calories-in and calories-out. Research accumulated since the 1960s shows that physical activity rates have plummeted. Unfortunately for misinformed consumers and maligned restaurants, government bureaucrats and food activists rarely recognize this reality. Instead they blame food producers for selling the products that consumers demand.
Wilson continued: “This report is the latest incremental step toward eliminating consumer choices. When groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest are involved, one can surmise that the real issue isn’t healthy choices or menu labeling. It’s just the food police selling the same warmed-over plan and telling the rest of us what to eat.”
The FDA-commissioned report goes further, suggesting that restaurants engage in “lifestyle education” to help consumers make healthier choices.
Wilson continued, “Restaurants are in business to serve food that customers want. Visiting a restaurant to take yoga lessons makes about as much sense as ordering a cheeseburger at the gym. Any couch-potatoes who blame restaurants for their extra paunches are pointing the finger of blame squarely in the wrong direction.”