CBS Plays Food Police, Touts ObamaCare Counting Calories

On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Michelle Miller lectured Americans on their diet: "According to Consumer Reports Health, many Americans are simply deluding themselves, most say they eat well but don't....85% of Americans rarely, if ever, count calories. Another 79% never set foot on a scale."

At one point, Miller stopped by a New York City restaurant and warned: "...people have good intentions...but often sabotage themselves." She then harassed one patron eating a salad: "Take a look at this green salad with all that caesar dressing. Don't you think the dressing sort of ruins it for you?" The unidentified man replied: "Well, otherwise I'm not going to be able to eat it."

In wrapping up the report, Miller cheerfully touted a big government solution to the problem: " In an effort to help consumers make educated choices, the new health care reform law will soon require restaurant chains nationwide to post the amount of calories for each offering on its menus." A clip was played of Michael Jacobson from the left-wing Center for Science in the Public Interest: "A lot of people are going to choose lower calorie and probably healthier items."
Miller concluded: "Maybe with this information in front of them, Americans won't be able to fool themselves into thinking they're eating right."

Here is a full transcript of the January 4 segment:

6:42PM ET TEASE:

KATIE COURIC: Up next, 90% of us say we eat healthy, so why can't we fit into our jeans?

6:45PM ET SEGMENT:

COURIC: Safe food is one thing, healthy eating another. In a survey out today, nine in ten Americans describe their diets as healthy. But Michelle Miller reports not so fast.

MICHELLE MILLER: Most people at the grocery store like to think they're filling their baskets with healthy choices.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I keep away from the cake and the chocolate and, you know, stuff like that.

MILLER: But according to Consumer Reports Health, many Americans are simply deluding themselves, most say they eat well but don't.

KATHERINE BROOKING: The perception does not equal reality at all.

MILLER: Nutritionist Katherine Brooking says many Americans are confused about what healthy eating really means.

BROOKING: People want to be healthy. People want to do the right thing and they don't want to admit how bad things have become

MILLER: 85% of Americans rarely, if ever, count calories. Another 79% never set foot on a scale.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN B: I don't care about calories at all. I eat when I can.


MILLER: Maybe that explains why only 11% of those surveyed say they are very overweight or obese, when the truth is 26% of Americans are.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I feel good when I eat healthy.

MILLER: At this health food restaurant in New York City, people have good intentions.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN C: I just asked them if there was cream in there.

MILLER: But often sabotage themselves. Take a look at this green salad with all that caesar dressing. Don't you think the dressing sort of ruins it for you?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN B: Well, otherwise I'm not going to be able to eat it.

MILLER: When asked which of these items had more calories, the answer surprised people. 75% of Americans thought a glazed doughnut had more calories than a plain bagel. 80% thought 20 M&Ms were higher in calories than an ounce of pretzel sticks. In an effort to help consumers make educated choices, the new health care reform law will soon require restaurant chains nationwide to post the amount of calories for each offering on its menus.

MICHAEL JACOBSON [CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST]: A lot of people are going to choose lower calorie and probably healthier items.

MILLER: Maybe with this information in front of them, Americans won't be able to fool themselves into thinking they're eating right. Michelle Miller, CBS News, New York.

COURIC: And to find out how healthy your diet is, you can go to our partner in health news, webmd.com, and search 'diet.'

— Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC