Friday, August 03, 2007

Fatty Tissue of Tall Tales

Our good friends at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) are at it again-don't you just love it when unelected folks arrogate to themselves a public interest mantle? This time as the NY Post reports this morning, they are out on the streets of New York gathering evidence on the level of compliance of fast food restaurants with the city's Trans fat ban. Some outlets are apparently doing better than others, if you believe the CSPI "study."

Our skepticism, of course, devolves from the fact that these self-appointed guardians of the public health have a vested interest in the outcomes that they find; primarily because the city's trans fat ban, and its menu labeling reg that is currently under court challenge, are the brainchild of none other than CSPI itself. And as we have pointed out, the menu labeling farce was cribbed directly from the CSPI material by the city's DOH.

New York is facing a critical public health crisis-with obesity and diabetes epidemics challenging the health resources of our city government. The way to tackle this problem is not through the implementation of heavy-handed regulations, but by the utilization of aggressive educational outreach directed at changing the hearts and minds side of the public health equation.

With most of the city's restaurants are making the shift over to non trans fat frying and baking, it is the silly menu labeling that most disturbs us. Putting calorie counts on certain fast food restaurants-in the absence of any nutritional knowledge among the customers of these places-is counterproductive; and at the same time is injurious to local business. We're hoping that the court feels the same.