Despite Bad Press, Calorie Industry Projects Record-Breaking Year

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Vol 41 Issue 11

Every Time Area Man Drops By, Friend Is Watching The Big Lebowski

CLEARWATER, FL—No matter what time of day he stops by for a visit, Barry Jensen always catches friend Scott Dupre watching the film The Big Lebowski. "[Scott] has about 40 movies on his shelf, so I don't know why he needs to watch The Big Lebowski over and over," Jensen told reporters Monday. "I don't know if he's just too lazy to change the DVD or if he's trying to memorize the lines, or what." Jensen estimated that, in visiting Dupre, he has walked in on the bowling dream sequence with that Kenny Rogers song six times.

AARP Blasted As Out Of Touch, Past Its Prime

WASHINGTON, DC—A coalition of young professionals criticized the American Association of Retired Persons at a press conference Monday, calling the organization "woefully out of step with the general public." "These AARPsters are the old guard of a bygone era, and it's time to bring them down," said Troy Hebner, president of the organization Stop The Aged, which aims to lessen the AARP's lobbying power. "A full 100 percent of their membership is over age 55. Many of them no longer even work. What could their views on Social Security and health insurance have to do with us?" In December, Stop The Aged made headlines by threatening to file a $1 billion age-discrimination lawsuit against the AARP.

Gym Membership Doomed From Day One

LOMPOC, CA—The Bally Total Fitness membership purchased Monday by Alex Scarbe already appears destined for failure. "I really should go buy some new shoes, so I can come back tomorrow and work out," Scarbe said, moments after completing the membership paperwork. "Just getting in here and signing up is enough for today. I think I'll reward myself with a smoothie." Scarbe will return to Bally's twice in April, then once in May to use the whirlpool, and ultimately cancel his membership in 2007, when he notices Bally listed on his credit-card statement.

Thwarting Of Arch Nemesis Leaves Sky Commander Feeling Empty

NEW YORK—From his secret headquarters high atop the Chrysler Building, Sky Commander Rex Brady said Monday that he has been filled with ennui ever since he apprehended his archenemy, The Nefarious Dr. Disaster. "What's the use?" said Commander Brady, slumped over H.I.L.D.A., his supercomputer and confidant. "Without him, I'm just another masked, muscle-bound, unemployed phony." H.I.L.D.A. responded by encouraging Brady to pursue his other interests, like helping needy children and learning how to prepare Mediterranean cuisine.

This Year's Oscars Blew Me Away

Item! You could have knocked me over with a feather after the 77th Annual Academy Awards. It wasn't just because of all the Oscar upsets, but also because of the new direction the ceremony has taken. Christopher Rock is no Billy Crystal, but he sure did shake things up. His bit with comedy king Adam Sandler was golden. And boy, did he make Chris Penn mad when he asked who Clive Owen was! I'm being kind of glib about that last one. I saw where Rock was coming from, but I thought Mr. Penn made a good point, too. He was right to stand up for one of our generation's finest actors, who has graced us with great performances in films like Alfy and Sky Colonel And The World Of Tomorrowland. And if you can't stand up for what's right at the Oscars, where can you do that?

Tougher Bankruptcy Laws

Last week, the Senate made moves toward approving pro-business legislation that will make it harder for individuals to file for bankruptcy. What do you think?

Horoscope for the week of March 16, 2005

You'll be justifiably proud after turning your office into a savvy, high-tech marketing machine, but that's before it flies out of control and devastates half of Kansas City.
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Despite Bad Press, Calorie Industry Projects Record-Breaking Year

HOUSTON—In spite of seemingly endless criticism, representatives for the U.S. calorie industry predicted another record-breaking year in 2005, the American Calorie Council announced Monday.

"Magazines, fitness gurus, TV-news anchors—they're always attacking calories and telling Americans to eat less of them," said ACC spokesman Nathan Sorenson. "Well, after many years, we're getting used to bad press. Regardless of what people say, the calorie industry continues to be a major growth industry."

Sorenson said all sectors of the calorie industry—which includes producers of meat, dairy, produce, fish, bread, candy, alcoholic beverages, and some soft drinks—have made optimistic projections for 2005.

"No matter how much the media derides us, consumers keep coming back for more calories," Sorenson said. "They can't live without 'em."

Although calorie-industry officials have been hesitant to release actual numbers, Sorenson said there will be "major consumption" in 2005.

"In 2004, we moved trillions of calories every month, which is exactly what one would expect in a depressed economy," Sorenson said. "If our projections are accurate, we'll be adding another couple trillion to our monthly figures."

Just a few calorie-industry products.

Sorenson said there has been an across-the-board increase in caloric consumption, with a marked increase in empty calories.

"Every field has been doing well, but the empty-calorie division is going through the roof," Sorenson said. "Anyone working in high-fructose corn syrup should be proud."

Sorenson acknowledged that, like any industry, the calorie industry goes in cycles.

"Summer is our toughest season, since people tend to eat lightly in the heat," Sorenson said. "Fortunately, we more than make up for it in November. Thanksgiving is like Christmas for us. Christmas isn't too bad, either."

Sorenson said that the calorie industry "took some hits" in the '90s.

"When the surgeon general recommended drinking eight glasses of water a day, that was a dark time for us," Sorenson said. "Drinking water makes people feel full. We're still feeling the effects today."

Calorie-industry pundits said the record-breaking projections are not just pie-in-the-sky optimism.

"Calories is one of the strongest, most reliable growth industries, right up there with real estate and munitions," said Victor Polser, managing editor of Caloric Insider magazine. "When one section of the calorie industry starts lagging, such as bread or pasta, another section, like beef or cheese, picks up the slack. If you ask me, it'd be impossible for this industry to take a crippling hit without a lot of Americans dying."

Despite the patina of invulnerability, the ACC is not content to rest on its laurels. Last week, they rolled out a nationwide cross-media campaign. Within the next month, the ACC will unveil ads featuring the slogans "Calories: It's What's For Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, And Between-Meal Snacks," and "Have You Had Your 2,000 Today?"

"We don't need to increase our profits, but we want to show consumers that the calorie industry isn't the monster the press has made it out to be," Sorenson said. "Calorie consumption is a part of every American's daily life, sometimes as many as eight or nine times a day."

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