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Report: Restaurants should shrink portions (per FDA commissioned study, too many calories)
AP on Yahoo ^ | 6/1/06 | Andrew Bridges - ap

Posted on 06/01/2006 4:44:14 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

WASHINGTON - In the fight against obesity, restaurants should shrink portions, provide more nutritional information and bundle such calorie-laden food as burgers and pizza with healthier side dishes, according to a federally commissioned report to be made public Friday.

The report, requested and funded by the Food and Drug Administration, lays out ways to help consumers manage their intake of calories from restaurants, cafeterias and ready-to-eat meals bought at grocery stores. It does not address school meals.

"As of this decade, Americans are eating away-from-home foods more frequently and consuming more calories from away-from-home establishments than ever before," the report says in making the case for increasing the availability of foods and drinks packed with fewer calories but more nutrients.

The 136-page report prepared by The Keystone Center, a nonprofit policy group, does not explicitly link dining out with the rising tide of obesity, but it does cite numerous studies that suggest there is a connection. It also notes that Americans now consume fully one-third of their daily intake of calories outside the home. And as of 2000, the average American gobbled up and slurped down 300 more calories a day than was the case 15 years earlier, according to Agriculture Department statistics cited in the report.

Today, 64 percent of Americans are overweight, including the 30 percent who are obese, according to the report. It pegs the annual medical cost of the problem at nearly $93 billion.

Consumer advocates increasingly have heaped some of the blame on restaurant chains such as McDonald's. A new children's book and soon-to-be-released movie, both associated with the 2001 book "Fast Food Nation," have kept the issue at the fore.

In response, McDonald's has added entree-sized salads and the option to swap the fries and soft drink in children's meals for apple slices and juice. But when Americans dined out in 2005, the top three menu choices remained hamburgers, french fries and pizza, according to The NPD Group, a market research firm.

Still, restaurants increasingly are offering varied portion sizes, foods made with whole grains, more diet drinks and entree salads to fit the dietary needs of their customers, said Sheila Cohn, director of nutrition policy for the National Restaurant Association. But those restaurants can't make people eat what they don't want to, said Cohn, who contributed to the forum that produced the report. Other participants included government officials, academics and consumer advocates.

"It's really difficult for a restaurant to gauge what a person should be eating. Can you imagine going into a restaurant and the waiter saying, 'Sir, your pants look a little tight today. I have to bring you the fresh fruit plate rather than the chocolate cake for desert'" Cohn said, adding: "It's not really the responsibility of restaurants to restrict the foods that they offer."

The report encourages restaurants to shift the emphasis of their marketing to lower-calorie choices and include more of those options on menus. In addition, restaurants could jigger portion sizes and the variety of foods available in mixed dishes to reduce the overall number of calories taken in by diners.

Bundling meals with more fruits and vegetables also could improve nutrition. And letting consumers know how many calories are contained in a meal also could guide the choices they make, according to the report. Just over half of the nation's 287 largest restaurant chains now make at least some nutrition information available, said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"If companies don't tell them, people have no way of knowing how many calories they are being served at restaurants. And chances are, they are being served a lot more than they realize," said Wootan, adding that Congress should give the FDA the authority to require such disclosure.

But the report notes that the laboratory work needed to calculate the calorie content of a menu item can cost $100, or anywhere from $11,500 to $46,000 to analyze an entire menu. Cohn said that makes it unfeasible for restaurants, especially when menus can change daily.

An FDA spokesman declined to make agency officials available to discuss the report ahead of a news conference scheduled for Friday.

Representatives of four restaurant chains — including Yum! Brands, the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell — who contributed to the report did not return calls seeking comment.

___

On the Net:

Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov/


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: fda; food; libertarians; obesity; portions; report; restaurants; shrink; study
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1 posted on 06/01/2006 4:44:20 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Guess the FDA never heard of doggie bags.


2 posted on 06/01/2006 4:46:03 PM PDT by BenLurkin ("The sole remedy is with the people.")
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To: NormsRevenge

I will tell you my beef. I have a difficult time finding small glasses. Huge glasses every where. but small 4, 6 and 10 oz glasses? Forget it!


3 posted on 06/01/2006 4:48:45 PM PDT by Chickensoup (The water in the pot is getting warmer, froggies.The water in the pot is getting warmer, froggies.)
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To: NormsRevenge
That's the logical progression of allowing government to tell adults what they can't put in their bodies. The only thing left is for them to decide what we MUST.

Expect portion-limiting legislation in the near future.

4 posted on 06/01/2006 4:48:50 PM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: NormsRevenge

If they refused to serve me what I ordered they will go out of business very quickly


5 posted on 06/01/2006 4:48:59 PM PDT by GeronL (Bush lost his mojo??)
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To: BenLurkin

Exactly..I am dining on wonderful leftovers from a birthday dinner tonight.


6 posted on 06/01/2006 4:49:10 PM PDT by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: BenLurkin

Great, FDA issues report about restaurant portions; the Trial Lawyers now have the chum they need to start a class action lawsuit feeding frenzy.


7 posted on 06/01/2006 4:49:13 PM PDT by stylin_geek (Liberalism: comparable to a chicken with its head cut off, but with more spastic motions)
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To: NormsRevenge

down with the FDA


8 posted on 06/01/2006 4:49:21 PM PDT by GeronL (Bush lost his mojo??)
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To: BenLurkin

The study is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Adults do not need the government to control what they eat ...time for the FDA to cut the PORK!! I would love to see them go on a LEANER budget with our tax money.


9 posted on 06/01/2006 4:49:26 PM PDT by katiedidit1
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To: Trailerpark Badass

Expect portion-limiting legislation in the near future.

Congre$$ will be exempt,. of course. ;-)


10 posted on 06/01/2006 4:49:57 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: Chickensoup

You don't have to fill up the glass you know


11 posted on 06/01/2006 4:49:58 PM PDT by GeronL (Bush lost his mojo??)
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To: NormsRevenge

power hungry jackbooted nutritionists


12 posted on 06/01/2006 4:50:53 PM PDT by GeronL (Bush lost his mojo??)
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To: NormsRevenge; CaptainCanada

Most restaurant serving sizes in America are at least 1.5 to 2x the servings I see in canada or here in NZ. Quite a lot of food actually.

You may find this news article interesting CC, as you point on America food being excessive in size the otehr day. ;-)


13 posted on 06/01/2006 4:51:12 PM PDT by NZerFromHK (Western MSMs are becoming Chinese media, nothing is true apart from the paper's name and date.)
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To: NormsRevenge

14 posted on 06/01/2006 4:52:25 PM PDT by KoRn
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To: NormsRevenge

'ol Mom and I have gone to ordering one meal for us both....usually is just about right. Sometimes a resturant will charge an extra dollar for an extra plate, but only a few.


15 posted on 06/01/2006 4:53:30 PM PDT by B.O. Plenty (Islam, liberalism and abortions are terminal..)
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To: NormsRevenge

My wife and I noted that portions in NM are huge, and so are the folks - to each his own.


16 posted on 06/01/2006 4:54:22 PM PDT by patton (What the heck just happened, here?)
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To: BenLurkin
Guess the FDA never heard of doggie bags.

Guess the FDA never heard of nouvelle cuisine where you get just a dab of this and a dab of that and a drizzle of something meaningful served on a very large plate with one green onion for decoration. Nouvelle cuisine is when you better have a sandwich in your car so you don't faint from hunger [and the cost of your minimalist meal]!

LOL!

Properly defined, nouvelle cuisine is:

eclectic style in international haute cuisine developed during the 1960s and '70s that stressed freshness, lightness, and clarity of flavour. In reaction to some of the richer and more calorie-laden extravagances of classic French haute cuisine, nouvelle cuisine sought to emphasize the natural flavours, textures, and colours of foodstuffs. Acknowledging the unhealthiness of a diet heavy in fats, sugars, refined starches, and salt, it minimized the use of these ingredients. Nouvelle cuisine was also influenced by the Japanese style of food presentation.
Could it be that the FDA hangs out in "restaurants" where they ask if you wanna sooper size it? LOL!

17 posted on 06/01/2006 4:54:41 PM PDT by caryatid (Jolie Blonde, 'gardez donc, quoi t'as fait ...)
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To: NormsRevenge
A restaurant which bases its menu on what the FDA wants instead of what their customers want will be an out of business restaurant very soon.
18 posted on 06/01/2006 4:55:15 PM PDT by joebuck
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To: caryatid
Ah, but nouvelle is so passe.

;^)

19 posted on 06/01/2006 4:56:15 PM PDT by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." W.H.Harrison)
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To: NormsRevenge
Simple, you cut my portions, I'll cut my visits.

The FDA may have a weight problem, but I don't. If the FDA cut some of the Pork out of their diet, maybe they'd be forced to do something constructive.

Oh wait, they can't do anything constructive. Let's cut THEM from OUR diet!
20 posted on 06/01/2006 4:56:33 PM PDT by dfwddr (Join our Folding@Home team (Team# 36120) keyword:folding.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I never eat out.

Well, except when I go to Toronto, but they wouldn't be subject to FDA regs anyhow.


21 posted on 06/01/2006 4:57:00 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 29-34)
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To: NormsRevenge
I just order from the senior menu.

I do wish they would offer some sort of caffine free diet drink aside from decaf coffee.

But I guess that water is good for me.

22 posted on 06/01/2006 4:57:35 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Every lady in this land hath 20 nails on each hand five and twenty on hand and feet)
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To: NormsRevenge

I wish restaurants would just do this on their own. Charge a buck less and give us smaller portions. I live in a town that is FAT..FAT...FAT...everyone is fat. Whenever we go to restaurants it's like each one is trying to outdo the next. We have casinos with their ALL YOU CAN EAT buffets and I see all the morbidly obese people gorging themselves. I'm sorry, but it's disgusting. Yes, they have a right to do it, but as a society, it's ok to question each other. Of course the government shouldn't get involved...but people better wake up.


23 posted on 06/01/2006 4:58:33 PM PDT by Hildy ("Whenever someone smiles at me all I see is a chimpanzee begging for its life." - Dwight Schrute)
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To: NormsRevenge
Next you won't be able to order dessert till you eat your vegetables. I'll eating dessert first tonight while I still can.
24 posted on 06/01/2006 4:59:01 PM PDT by ThomasThomas
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To: NormsRevenge
I think there should be a limit on the number of ugly Democrats.


25 posted on 06/01/2006 5:00:45 PM PDT by Cobra64 (All we get are lame ideas from Republicans and lame criticism from dems about those lame ideas.)
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To: NormsRevenge
"The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not." -Mark Twain.

Why do we spend money on such silly research? Methinks so that others can tell someone how they should behave.

26 posted on 06/01/2006 5:00:50 PM PDT by ARealMothersSonForever (Political troglodyte with a partisan axe to grind)
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To: NormsRevenge

Hey! Where's the strawberry pie and whipped cream? Man, nobody fills me up like Shoneys used to...


27 posted on 06/01/2006 5:01:30 PM PDT by Edgar3 (Constitutional Republic, or die)
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To: NormsRevenge

Thanks FDA, for wanting businesses to give us less for our money. :rolls eyes: JUST BUY SMALLER SIZES; instead of a large buy a small. Whats so hard about that?

Actually this kind of nannyism already has had an impact. Wendy's use to give you a great biggie fries with a combo, but now only give you a biggie, and its because of Supersize Me and all the hysteria about how fries make you fat. All thats done is give fast food places the excuse to give customers less for their money.


28 posted on 06/01/2006 5:02:35 PM PDT by OmegaMan
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To: NormsRevenge
In addition, restaurants could jigger portion sizes...

That sounds racist to me!

29 posted on 06/01/2006 5:03:47 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (I wish a political party would come along that thinks like I do.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I'm all for healthier living, but the government has no business involved in this. Let's save taxpayer dollars and allow the market to dictate what and in what quantity restaurants serve.


30 posted on 06/01/2006 5:06:18 PM PDT by alnick
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To: Tall_Texan

More nanny state stupidity.


31 posted on 06/01/2006 5:09:25 PM PDT by motorcity70
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To: NormsRevenge

Yes, this is EXACTLY what we need . . . . . another problem solved by GOVERNMENT, instead of personal responsibility!!!


32 posted on 06/01/2006 5:10:22 PM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: NormsRevenge
This is just one more nail in the coffin of personal responsibility.

In the brave new world, individuals will not be able to make any personal decisions. Every detail of your daily existence will be prescribed and mandated by law.

33 posted on 06/01/2006 5:10:29 PM PDT by vox humana
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To: KoRn

ROFL


34 posted on 06/01/2006 5:12:16 PM PDT by cowtowney
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To: Cobra64
Please exercise caution in posting images like these on FR. They tend to frighten children and small animals.
35 posted on 06/01/2006 5:15:46 PM PDT by vox humana
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To: NormsRevenge
Just another move by the nanny-state to take away responsibility from individuals....

#1 - I prefer to go to restaurants that give me value for my money. Do you really think that prices would go down to match the portion sizes...ha...

#2 - If I order a plate of food - and choose to eat it all, that is not only my business, it's my responsibility...

And last I checked, many restaurants offer smaller portions/meals as well as more "healthy" fair...
36 posted on 06/01/2006 5:16:39 PM PDT by TheBattman (Islam (and liberalism)- the cult of Satan and a Cancer on Society)
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To: NormsRevenge

Yeah, here's our big government at work. This is the first bunch of bureaucrats that should have their positions eliminated.


37 posted on 06/01/2006 5:19:09 PM PDT by Luke21 (Democrats hate us, our heritage, and our religion. They think we belong in cages. Never forget.)
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To: NormsRevenge

First tobacco...now food. When will the (insert word here)-nazi's be happy. Oh geez...will beer be next?


38 posted on 06/01/2006 5:21:50 PM PDT by Conservative4Ever (Buy Danish!)
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To: NormsRevenge

"In the fight against obesity,.."

Maybe they should mount a fight against STUPIDITY... starting with themselves.

It sounds like a 'Saturday Night Live' skit.


39 posted on 06/01/2006 5:22:48 PM PDT by siznartuf (If I Hear "Jobs Americans Won't Do" One More ^%&^%^%# Time)
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To: BenLurkin

Will the FDA provide more soap when they decide to ration toilet paper? Socialism is everywhere. Feel's good, don't it?


40 posted on 06/01/2006 5:24:07 PM PDT by gathersnomoss
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To: KoRn

41 posted on 06/01/2006 5:30:27 PM PDT by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." W.H.Harrison)
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To: NormsRevenge
I lost 100 pounds last year and went from obese to thin. Since the end of my diet and the beginning of the maintenence phase, I can tell you that even the diet offerings at resteraunts are 600 + calories most of the time. The salads are more calorie laden than big macs. You can get light options at Applebee's, Ruby Tuesdays, and a couple others I've noticed recently.

Now, I don't support any initiative to get them to change their portion sizes. But as someone who defended smokers by saying "they'll come after your habit next," it's pretty funny to watch.

What's coming next? Obese people are a drain on insurance, and the insurance companies are best buds with our pal the government. The insurance companies will start seriously jacking up rates for fat people within the next decade. And then they won't reduce the rate for regular sized people, just like they didn't drop the rates when they started punishing smokers. And if it's allowed to continue, parents of fat kids will be labled abusive and the kids might fall under CPS protection. But politicians will have to get skinny before that happens. As long as the majority are overweight, you're safe. but as soon as the majority gets within normal weight range, watch how quick it all starts.
42 posted on 06/01/2006 5:34:41 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: KoRn
Artery clogging, cholesterol busting, "fat-loaded," decadent, burger.

I'll take 2, with a large side of fries.

The "guvmint" has taken away my "privilege?" to light up when I go out for a beverage or a meal, therefore, I rarely go out any more.

When they finally (and they will, you know) manage to "control" the portions an eating establishment can serve, then I will forgo these occasion forays, permanently.

43 posted on 06/01/2006 5:42:53 PM PDT by namvet66
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To: MEG33
I'm Too Stupid To Know...
by fight_truth_decay

I'm too stupid to know that donuts and other fried foods are unhealthy for me.

I'm too stupid to know that I should not live on cake, cookies, hot fudge sundaes, pies, candy and potato chips alone.

I'm too stupid to know bread can add pounds to the waistline just like pasta and garlic mashed potato topped with bacon bits & sour cream.

I'm too stupid to know Coke, Pepsi and all the other underlings of the beverage world should not replace my intake of water.

(This "I'm stupid to know" research was done without the federal government, corporate donations or little furry animal testing.)

44 posted on 06/01/2006 5:49:56 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: namvet66
Nah, you can just ditch burgers and instead try foods like this:

Part of my tarditional cultural backgrounds. Add to it a dished of stir-fried choi sum. Good...

45 posted on 06/01/2006 5:53:01 PM PDT by NZerFromHK (Western MSMs are becoming Chinese media, nothing is true apart from the paper's name and date.)
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To: TheBattman
And last I checked, many restaurants offer smaller portions/meals as well as more "healthy" fair...

That doesn't work everywhere. A few years ago, local restaurants tried serving 1/2 sized entrees (like 1 chop, instead of 2) with the full complement of sides for 2/3 the price of the full sized meal.
I loved the idea, but not many did.
All-you-can-eat buffets are still popular.

You can't force people to be healthy, or even thin, if they don't want to be.

46 posted on 06/01/2006 5:55:23 PM PDT by speekinout
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To: NormsRevenge
I do the "Old Chinese Secret", I go to Chinese "All You Can Eat" Buffet. I select my own portions and screw legislation that wants to control the portions served to me in a restaurant.
47 posted on 06/01/2006 5:55:38 PM PDT by joem15 (If less is more, then what is plenty?)
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To: BenLurkin
Guess the FDA never heard of doggie bags.

Or sharing a meal. I don't even mind the plate charge.

48 posted on 06/01/2006 5:59:16 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Let's have a look.

1) Do(ugh)nuts? When was the last time I tried that? 2003?
Fried pretzels? Never had that.
KFC? This time last year.

(Although I had French cream-filled last Sunday. Only that occasion, and had McD burgers in March)

2) Cake? Last month (Mother's Day celebrations)
Cookies? Only one every day for a period of 2 weeks in late April
Hot Fudge Sundes? Had coffee-flavoured chocolate fudge ice-cream. But servings were small (only 110 g) and had it for 3 days.
Chips? Probably in September last year.

3) Potatoes? We just stew them in sauce and then sort of stir-fry it. When we have baked potatoes we add sour cream and nothing else.
Pasta? We add virgin olive oil and some soy sauce. And that's it.

4) Coke? The most recent time I had that was last Wednesday (and it was Coke Zero). Before that it was in Easter.


49 posted on 06/01/2006 6:01:41 PM PDT by NZerFromHK (Western MSMs are becoming Chinese media, nothing is true apart from the paper's name and date.)
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To: NormsRevenge

We need to get these Democrats out of office!

Oh, wait ...


50 posted on 06/01/2006 6:04:22 PM PDT by AlexandriaDuke (Conservatives want freedom. Republicans want power.)
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