Man Chains Obesity Responsibility to Fast Food

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Jul 29, 2002
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In a news story on the MSNBC web site, a 5-foot, 10-inch, 272-pound man has sued
four major fast food chains, claiming their fare contributed to his obesity, heart
disease and diabetes. The lawsuit seeks to have companies label individual products
with fat, salt, cholesterol and other dietary content as well as to warn consumers
of potential health consequences. It also estimates that millions of Americans
could be included in the claim.

The class-action lawsuit, filed in the Bronx Supreme Court on July 24, seeks
undetermined compensatory damages against McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Kentucky Fried
Chicken and Burger King, on behalf of 56-year-old maintenance worker Caesar
Barber and others.

New York attorney Samuel Hirsch, representing Barber, says consumers are not
getting adequate warning about foods that could cause obesity, diabetes, heart
disease, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. “Fast food chains
failed to disclose the contents in terms of calories, fat grams and sodium.
Even when posted, the information is not easily understandable to the public,”
Mr. Hirsch says.

“This lawsuit, which solely makes restaurants responsible for obesity in America,
swallows a simplistic notion,” says Steven Anderson, president and CEO of the
National Restaurant Association. “It is a blatant attempt to capitalize on the
recent news stories on the growing rates of obesity.”

Moderator Comment: Should food manufacturers and retailers
be legally responsible for the eating (or overeating) habits of consumers?

According to the MSNBC piece, Caesar Barber says that
he did not realize fried food was bad for him until his doctor gave him the
news three years ago. Caesar Barber is:

A)
A liar; B)
An
idiot; C)
A
member of a cult that does not allow its members to read, watch television,
listen to the radio or discuss health matters with anyone.

Next, we’ll be seeing a lawsuit against athletic footwear
companies for not seeing to it that everyone who buys sneakers exercises. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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