What's that funny smell?
According to Robert H. Lustig in The Diet Debacle,"If a calorie is a calorie, then any food can be part of a balanced diet; and, if we are what we eat, then everyone chooses what they eat."
Firstly, the first nutritional maxim isn't "A calorie is a calorie". It's actually "Where bodyweight is concerned, a calorie is a calorie". Leaving out the first four words makes a huge difference to the meaning.
Secondly, the second nutritional maxim actually means "Your body is made out of what you eat. Therefore, if you eat/drink rubbish, you get a rubbish body.
Apart from that, the rest of the article is absolutely fine*.
*The above sentence ending in "*" is pure irony. See also Review & Critique: The Skinny on Obesity ~ Intro and Part I and Review & Critique: The Skinny on Obesity ~ Part II Sickeningly Inaccurate.
The sad thing is that I actually sympathise with Robert H. Lustig's aim, which is to reduce the humongous amount of sugar that Americans shove down their throats in solid or liquid form.
I don't want to come across as a Socialist Asshole (it's Arsehole, Sean!), but intervention is sometimes needed to stop certain humans and groups thereof (e.g. companies/corporations) from harming other humans and groups thereof (e.g. the general population).
In City of New York Bureau of Food Discipline, Sean wrote "Never mind that the record of government diet intervention is abysmal, this time it will work." I can't speak for the US, as I don't know how things work over there. Here in the U.K, DEFRA aims to maintain standards in the way that crops that are grown and in the management of farm animals. The FSA aims to maintain standards for food safety, although they do occasionally come out with some dubious nutritional advice (read the comments to see some familiar names).
Just because government agencies occasionally cock things up, does that mean that we should have zero government intervention where food is concerned? I obviously think not!
See also What Is Food? and Former Coke executive slams ‘share of stomach’ marketing campaign.
Addendum: If (as I believe) corporations should be prevented from unduly influencing the general population in their food choices by banning all advertisements for foods & drinks, then governments should also be prevented from unduly influencing the general population in their food choices by banning food policies and crop subsidies. All that governments should do food-wise is enforce food safety standards.