Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Man, I'm glad I don't do that anymore

This from Gothamist:
The incoming president of the Obesity Society has filed a 33-page affidavit questioning the city’s new rules requiring chain restaurants to prominently display calorie information on their menus. Dr. David B. Allison (pictured), a professor of biostatistics and nutrition at the University of Alabama, cites a study indicating that dieters who get distracted by calorie information are more likely to overeat. And even if the daunting calorie details prompt diners to go for lower calorie items, they'll just end up overeating later because their healthier choice won't really satiate them.

But Allison’s affidavit has drawn fire from colleagues because he was paid an undisclosed sum to write it on behalf of the New York State Restaurant Association, which is suing to block the new rules. Dr. Allison has previously consulted for Frito-Lay, Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola, a company he defended against a proposed ban in schools by citing research showing that birds put on weight when food is scarce.
This sounds alarmingly like the crap I used to do for a living. Not as obnoxious as this, but plenty. I slightly highlighted the last sentence because it did, I must say, make me laugh. You, dear reader, likely read this and offer a titter of laughter, a wry shake of the head. Me? I reflect on the machinations behind companies like Kraft and Coke (one of which was a client of mine a long time ago) defending what is essentially an indefensible position (coke machines in schools) by arming some numbnuts like this guy Alison with a bird study. If you only knew how many meetings and conference calls I've sat through when the relative merits of hairbrained ideas like this were seriously discussed.

Man, I'm glad I don't do that anymore.

Although the pay was pretty good.


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