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Posted: 1/21/2002 9:59:17 PM EDT
[url]www.abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/obesityblame020122.html[/url] Whose Fault Is Fat? Experts Weigh Holding Food Companies Responsible for Obesity Jan. 22 — So we're fat — 61 percent of us. We're gluttons, supersizing our fries and indulging in whopper-sized cinnamon buns at the mall. But obesity is not just an American image crisis — it's fast becoming our most serious public health problem. Indeed, obesity now rivals smoking in its deadliness and is linked to diseases such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. An estimated 300,000 Americans die each year from fat-related causes, and we spent $117 billion in obesity-related economic costs just last year, U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher reported last month. Conventional wisdom says our obesity stems from laziness, lack of willpower or a fast-paced lifestyle that prevents healthy eating and exercise. We already spend up to an estimated $50 billion a year on diet and weight loss products — are we really just not trying hard enough? While individuals surely bear responsibility for what they eat and whether they move, some nutrition and legal experts say we may not be entirely at fault. Some say the food industry — particularly fast food, vending machine and processed food companies — should be held accountable for playing a role in the declining health of the nation, just as the tobacco industry ultimately was forced to bear responsibility for public health costs associated with smoking in its landmark $206 billion settlement with the states. Although no one is actually started taking such legal action against the food industry, nutrition and legal experts say it is reasonable to think that someday, it may come to that. "There is a movement afoot to do something about the obesity problem, not just as a visual blight but to see it in terms of costs," says John Banzhaf, a George Washington University Law School professor. The Case for Fat Suits Most public health experts agree that regulations or taxes would be better than legal action, but they are mindful that after years of going after Big Tobacco, anti-smoking forces only achieved success when plaintiffs and lawyers stepped in. No matter how it happens, though, nutrition activists say corporate America must bear some responsibility for obesity. They point to a David and Goliath-like imbalance between the government's nutrition education spending and the food industry's $30 billion advertising budget. Only 2 percent of the industry's ad dollars go to promote fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, according to watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest. Most ads lure Americans toward high-fat, high-calorie, large-portion food.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:00:13 PM EDT
con't While McDonald's reportedly spent $500 million on the "We love to see you smile" ad campaign, the National Cancer Institute's "5-a-Day" campaign spends just $1 million a year to promote eating five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The government's entire budget on nutrition education is estimated at just a fifth of the advertising budget for Altoids mints, says Marion Nestle, a New York University professor and author of the soon-to-be released Food Politics: How the Food Industry Manipulates What We Eat to the Detriment of Our Health. "It's not fair," Nestle said. "People are confronted with food in every possible way to eat more. The function of the food industry is to get people to eat more, not less." Targeting Saturday Morning Fare The purpose behind suing food companies would be both philosophical and economic and resembles the logic of the tobacco litigation, explains Banzhaf, who helped craft the tobacco lawsuits. "If there are products the use of which cause large costs, grave costs, it is better that the burden of those costs fall on people who use and make the products rather than third parties or the general public," he said. For some, it may be difficult to buy the argument that companies should be blamed for what adults eat. For that reason, some health experts suggest a campaign against marketing junk food to children would be more successful, just as the anti-smoking campaign went after Joe Camel ads. Four out of five food ads market products attractive to kids, CSPI says, such as sugary cereal, snack food, soft drinks and fast food. For years, nutrition activists have attempted, unsuccessfully, to get junk food ads off Saturday morning television, long the domain of commercials featuring kid-friendly characters hawking sugary, high-calorie foods. Junk food in schools have also been the longtime bane of many nutrition experts. Although school lunches must meet federal dietary standards, vending machines and snack bars are not required to withstand nutritional scrutiny and often bring multi-million dollar contracts between corporations and school districts. "Certainly, fast food is marketed overtly to children and my guess is if you looked closely around the internal documents of the fast food industry and processed food industry it would shock me if they didn't have very sophisticated studies about their consumers," said Richard Nagareda, Vanderbilt University Law School professor. "Whether you can take that to the level of a successful lawsuit is not so clear."
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:08:30 PM EDT
I'm overweight because I eat too much - I eat too much because it helps me cope with the spectre of the Anti's attempting to rescind my Second Amendment rights, therefore, I should sue, the Brady coalition, the VPC, Rosie o'DooDoo, and all the Anti RKBA types. Does that work?
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:13:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jhasz: I'm overweight because I eat too much - I eat too much because it helps me cope with the spectre of the Anti's attempting to rescind my Second Amendment rights, therefore, I should sue, the Brady coalition, the VPC, Rosie o'DooDoo, and all the Anti RKBA types. Does that work?
View Quote
I think it might.[thinking] What is this world coming to we can sue because where Fat. Next think is that you can sue a casino because you like to gamble to much.
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:32:27 PM EDT
Next people will be suing tobacco companies because they got cancer and gun companies because they got shot... oh wait... [%|]
Link Posted: 1/21/2002 10:48:14 PM EDT
Sue the inventor of the Fork, that ends it. GG
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 1:35:20 AM EDT
Damn it! I've been telling my wife and friends I should be suing the Little Debbie and Hostess companies. I've sat on my ass too long again!
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 5:09:38 AM EDT
I'm suing my parents because they conceived me! [shock]
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 5:46:52 AM EDT
Its the Hostess Twinkies - - stupid.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 6:10:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bunghole: I'm suing my parents because they conceived me! [shock]
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Now THAT'S just crazy! Unless they're rich, what are you gonna get from them? Sue the obstetrician, the hospital, Planned Parenthood and the AMA for not aborting you. Deeper pockets you know. [;)]
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 6:18:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2002 6:26:21 AM EDT by SWIRE]
Someone is taking the Simpsons way too seriously. Their last episode was Marge getting a class action lawsuit against the sugar company because they put too much sugar in the food making the entire town fat. Personally, I hope these people keep up with these really stupid lawsuits. It will sway public opinion about the people trying to sue towards a negative direction. Which is what gun owners need becuase the current wave of anti-gun lawsuits are suing gun manufacuters for producing a "public nuisance". I don't believe for one second that American minds are so weak that after seeing a commercial we are helpless to make our own decisions and not go to McDonalds. That is one pathetic argument. Obesity is caused by people shoving food into their bodies. Usually high fat, high calorie food. To witness this just go to your local mall food court and watch the size and shape of the people that go to the McDonalds counter vs the people that go to the Subway counter. 90% of the people going to McDonalds are carrying extra weight with about 20% of them being obese. Compared to the Subway counter where most the people would not be considered fat by anymeans. I witness this firsthand the other day. I've lost 30 pounds in the last nine months and I was only 170 pounds to begin with. Let me tell you there is no better motivation to forget the fast food when you are standing in line at Subway, than to watch a 350 pound woman waddle up to the McDonalds counter and order.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 6:33:55 AM EDT
That is completely ridiculous. I love it. I heard that McDonalds is anti-gun....can anybody confirm that? I think we should sue all fast food joints for making us fat. All auto makers for the accidents that cost us all money. All cell phone and pager manufacturers for high stress levels. Hell we can even hit the computer companies for the debauchery and evil that has warped peoples minds on the internet. HeHeHe. Sue em all and let the courts go blind on paperwork.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 7:08:20 AM EDT
4x Biggie Supersize that for me please.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 7:14:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tayous1:
Originally Posted By jhasz: I'm overweight because I eat too much - I eat too much because it helps me cope with the spectre of the Anti's attempting to rescind my Second Amendment rights, therefore, I should sue, the Brady coalition, the VPC, Rosie o'DooDoo, and all the Anti RKBA types. Does that work?
View Quote
I think it might.[thinking] What is this world coming to we can sue because where Fat. Next think is that you can sue a casino because you like to gamble to much.
View Quote
What HAS this world come to when someone WON millions of dollars from McDonalds because her coffee was too hot (pronounced: she was a clumsy, opportunistic fecal-bag of a person)? You know, on those days when I am feeling particularly down, I almost believe that there truly is no hope for this world.[V]
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 9:04:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FMJunkie: You know, on those days when I am feeling particularly down, I almost believe that there truly is no hope for this world.[V]
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Cheer up, it could be a lot worse. Al Gore could have been President. If that had happend, I would have lost all hope for the world.
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 9:15:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bwhite: Damn it! I've been telling my wife and friends I should be suing the Little Debbie and Hostess companies. I've sat on my ass too long again!
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So sue the people that made your couch!
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 9:17:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bunghole: I'm suing my parents because they conceived me! [shock]
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Can we join that suit? Sorry, couldn't resist! [:)]
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 9:17:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/22/2002 9:26:06 AM EDT
I'm going to sue AR15.com, you know, I could be getting some exercise right now...
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