Diners, Drive-ins and Dives has become a cable phenomenon, attracting celebrities like Kid Rock, who took the Food Network host, Guy Fieri, to a church-turned-restaurant for classic comfort food, mac-n-cheese. And on this season’s opener, Matthew McConaughey made a guest appearance at a 1950s diner to sample enchilada casserole.

Many of the diners, drive-ins and dives featured on the show are family-owned – often passed down from one generation to the next. The show is about more than food, it’s about family, culture and a way of life.

No doubt there are health activists who see the meals served at these restaurants as bad – something to be regulated, whether it’s the salt, sugar or fat content.

A more practical perspective was offered by Sam Kass last week at the CDC’s Weight of the Nation conference. Kass is the White House assistant chef and senior policy advisor on healthy food initiatives. He articulated the relationship most Americans have with food:

“Food is about far more than mere sustenance. Food is our very identity. It is how we honor family – it is how we remember home. It is how we understand each other, and it is how we show love.  Efforts to demonize food, or reduce the problem to one issue, miss the underlying truth about food and diminish our ability to produce permanent comprehensive change.”

Prohibiting certain foods or beverages from the American diet is not realistic. Rather than say no to personal choice, the beverage industry supports providing more choice to consumers. Visit our website Delivering Choices to see the variety of beverages available today. More choice, smaller portions, fewer calories is what we’re delivering.