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Restaurants to nutrition police: Eat crow

Amid new research demolishing dire assumptions about obesity in the U.S., a restaurant-backed group is on the warpath, telling the world, in effect, we told you so. 

The Center for Consumer Freedom, which takes donations from restaurants, bought full-page ads yesterday in several major U.S. daily newspapers and magazines, gloating about its apparent victory.

The "victory" came when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its earlier estimate that 400,000 Americans die each year from obesity. The true number is more like 112,000.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"For months we have been pushing the CDC to rescind its wildly exaggerated claim that obesity kills 400,000 people a year," said CCF senior analyst Dan Mindus. "It is now time for the agency to act by endorsing the research released last week as a much more accurate picture of obesity and explaining its earlier major errors which led to unwarranted hysteria."

"It's said that a lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes," the CCF added. "Well, the truth about obesity is finally lacing up. That's bad news for trial lawyers pursuing obesity lawsuits against food and beverage companies."

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, CCF's arch-enemy in the nutrition and regulatory debate, has so far remained mute on the new research.

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