ABC Promotes New USDA Diet Guidelines, Claiming Americans in Denial

The media may have found a new type of denier: the food denier.

In a June 15 ABC “Word News Tonight” story about the new USDA dietary guidelines, reporter Linsey Davis nearly did the unprecedented by holding the American people responsible for their own diets. However, Davis fell short of going where no media member had gone before and instead used standard therapeutic language about America’s supposedly unhealthy habits:


“The problem is many of us are in denial about what we eat.”

Davis “proved” this denial by asking a woman about the amount of sodium in her grilled cheese sandwich, which of course the woman got wrong. Additionally, the woman was not given a chance to defend her “denial.”

In the companion story on ABC News’s web site, author Kristina Fiore touted the new guidelines such as oft-championed sodium and salt intake reductions. However, Fiore didn’t introduce “skeptics” until 15 paragraphs into her article:

“’No one made it down to only the 2005 recommended max of 2,300 mg of sodium daily,’ said Keith Ayoob of Albert Einstein College of Medicine. ‘If people have trouble reaching [that] mark, then 1,500 mg will be even tougher.’”

Fiore concluded her article with a pat on the back from Margo G. Wootan of the left-leaning and media favorite Center for Science in the Public Interest, who called for more government “strategy” (ie. spending and regulation) to help people’s diets:

“’The report wisely recommends that USDA and HHS develop a national strategy to help people eat better, including ramping up nutrition education, expanding access to fruits and vegetables, and getting industry to provide more-healthful products.’”

ABC has a history of looking to the government and food industry to solve America’s obesity “epidemic” and continued the media trend of returning to the CSPI buffet again and again and again. While Davis got close to finally holding people accountable for their actions, ABC continued serving viewers heavy portions of government recommendations. 

Like this article? Sign up for “The Balance Sheet,” BMI’s weekly e-mail newsletter.