Why We Need Dietary Guidelines: To Fight the Super-Sizers

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In an article about fast food marketing, The Los Angeles Times explains as clearly as could be why the Dietary Guidelines matter so much. The article is titled "Eat less, U.S. says as fast-food chains super-size their offerings."

Why would fast food chains want to offer hot dogs, hamburgers, and burritos ranging from 800 to 1,600 calories each? How's this for a candid answer:

The bottom line is we're in the business of making money, and we make money off of what we sell," said Beth Mansfield, spokeswoman for CKE Restaurants Inc., which owns the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's chains. "If we wanted to listen to the food police and sell nuts and berries and tofu burgers, we wouldn't make any money and we'd be out of business.

You want to help people stay healthy? That makes you food police.

If you care about public health, you can expect to be called names. But that shouldn't stop you from trying to create a healthier food system.

And thanks to Sheila Viswanathan of the GoodGuide for sending the article.


This post also appears on foodpolitics.com.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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