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Restaurant Calories: 'Extreme Eating'

Sky-High Calories, Fat, and Sodium Cited by Consumer Group

Restaurant Industry Responds

The CSPI's article is half-baked, according to the National Restaurant Association.

America's 935,000 restaurants and food-service outlets "provide a wide variety of venues and countless menu options to fit anyone's dietary needs and preferences," the association says in a news release.

"Pointing to a select few menu items at a select few restaurants as being high in calories, and generalizing that to all restaurant fare is misleading, inaccurate, and does the public a grave disservice," states the association.

"Virtually all restaurants provide healthful options," and diners can request that chefs curb calories or fat, the association says.

Many national chain restaurants make nutrition information available, the association notes. Since many diners customize their orders, the association says it would be hard to post simple nutritional information on menus and menu boards.

'Food Police'

What you put on your plate is your business, whether it's a decadent splurge or spa cuisine, according to the association.

Diners are "free to choose what to eat, whether being mindful of calorie and fat intake, or indulging themselves with their favorite dishes," states the association.

"Our research shows that 95% of survey respondents feel they are qualified to make their own dietary choices, and more than two out of three (68%) say they are tired of the 'food police' telling them what to eat," the association says.

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