Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gluttons for Punishment

The NY Times, like an emaciated dog with a bone, can't seem to let go of the bogus calorie posting study done at city Starbucks. Now, however, they use the study ti highlight that people become more gluttonous during the winter holidays-who knew? As the Times tells us: "When a study on New Yorkers’ eating habits was released last week, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, city health officials and the report’s authors focused on what appeared to be a triumph of government policy: After the city began requiring restaurant chains to post calories, customers ordered lighter food. But the study also revealed a stronger trend, one that speaks to the weight of human nature: Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, New Yorkers seemed to lose all control. Statistically speaking, they pigged out."

But as we pointed out earlier, this was no triumph-except of misdirection and spin-since the focus was on the latte crowd and not those fast fooders who are in the forefront of the obesity focus. As we said when the study came out: "But of course everyone knows that the typical Starbucks customer isn't from the same demographic as the typical McDonalds patron-and it is the Big Mac that is the real target of the calorie posting policy. Your Starbucks denizen will be notably higher educated and less obese than her counterpart at McDonalds and Burger King."

So what's with this rehash-and what relationship does it have to the ersatz triumph? None really; and there is, of course, no evidence that the McDonalds crowd let up at all after the first of the year-but that didn't stop the Times from this observation: "Some customers interviewed at the Starbucks at Broadway and West 95th Street in Manhattan this week said that the calorie postings had changed their buying habits. Others were unmoved."

Our advice? Why doesn't the paper go over to White Castle on Fulton Street, or Burger King on Fordham Road to interview those customers. By failing to do so, the paper reinforces the false triumphalism of the Bloombergistas; while at the same time underscoring the Times' own elitist tendencies.