New FDA Web Site, Brochure Won’t Prevent Obesity Any More Than Old FDA Web Site, Brochure

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson


Obesity and diet-related diseases claim hundreds of thousands of American lives each year. Yet every response from the Bush Administration is so feeble, so flaccid, and so consistently disproportionate to the magnitude of the epidemic. I fear that Secretary Leavitt and Acting Commissioner Von Eschenbach are just delusional if they think yet another web site and brochure will make a dent in the obesity epidemic.

Certainly the MyPyramid web site proved to be a cataclysmic flop. The government only printed a paltry number of brochures to spread the word about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It’s hard to see how a new web site and brochure will do any more than the old web site and brochures. Clearly ‘stay the course’ isn’t working.

What the Administration should be doing is actually orienting government policies around the Dietary Guidelines. Why hasn’t the Bush Administration lent its support to the bipartisan legislation pending in Congress to get junk food out of schools? Why does the Administration not support requiring calorie counts on fast-food menu boards? The federal government should be getting rid of all things partially hydrogenated, requiring obesity warnings on soft drinks, and shielding kids from junk food advertising.

But instead we get another web site, another press conference, another round of self-congratulation on a job well done. It’s pathetic and pathological. It’s time to change the course.

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at] or Ariana Stone (astone[at]