T Nation

Thank you Republicans!


#1

Comment: Republicans are going to get a boost if this passes. And what a lousy bit of publicity for Democrats - they're supported by trial lawyers who want to be able to sue fast food places for making people fat! Who wants to be associated with sleazy lawyers?! Here's the article:

Sen. Bill Blocks Weight-Related Lawsuits

WASHINGTON - If too many burgers and fries have left your waistline super-sized, don't expect a sweet pay-off in court, senators said Thursday. A bill would prevent people from suing restaurants and food manufacturers for making them fat.

"I think it's important not to blame poor eating habits on someone else," said Sen. Mitch McConnell R-Ky., and the sponsor of the bill.

The measure would block lawsuits related to obesity or weight gain, but not suits charging other kinds of injury or fraud. It is similar to one already introduced in the House.

The House held a hearing last month on the relatively new legal trend in which consumers are suing fast food chains like McDonald's and arguing that the food contributed to their obesity.

McConnell, the GOP whip, predicted an uphill battle getting the measure through the Senate.

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America opposes the bill, while the food industry has lobbied for it. Both are big campaign donors.

The trial lawyers group contributed $4.2 million to federal campaigns and political parties in the last election cycle, with 91 percent going to Democrats, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics.

Restaurants and bars contributed $7 million, with 77 percent going to Republicans. Food manufacturers gave $3.3 million, with 86 percent going to Republicans.

McConnell's bill would help at least one company in his home state. Louisville-based Yum! Brands, Inc., owns Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC.


#2

This isn't the solution to the problem. People might be free to choose but this is going to turn into a social issue at some point, just like smoking. I personally don't like to have to help pay for someone's treatment for smoking related illnesses when they were choosing to do something that was clearly of detriment to their health. Obesity is the same thing. Everyone knows that eating a Krisy Kreme all the time or eating out is going to make them fat, and they knowingly make that choice; lots of disease will be the result costing billions of dollars.

I pay for my own health insurance but that doesn't mean the the insurance companies who get shafted by people choosing to live unhealthy lifestyles don't in some pay pass that burden on to everyone. That is just the way it works.

I'm not saying sue the restaurants but I'm saying at least make them provide details about the food you are eating like everyone else is already required to do. If they are honest about it (there's gotta be some regulatory stuff here) I'm sure most people would be shocked at what they have been eating as far as its macronutrient breakdown. Even the "healthy" stuff at most restaurants is probably a lot worse than the perception.

On the other hand, you have businesses (like McDonalds) who are preying on people's obvious addiction to food. Pushing super-size portions is a way for these companies to make people fat and to make them want more of the same stuff. In this regard, I don't see these restaurants as being any different than the tobacco companies that were manipulating levels of nicotine to best cause addiction.

Its a choice, sure, but an uneducated one; at least relative to what's really in this food. I say the first step to education is simply have a macronutrient breakdown of the foods; require McD's (or other joints and sit-down restaurants) to show you how absurdly fattening a Big Mac truly is.


#3

Well, this is one piece of proposed legislation that gets the Char-Dawg Seal of Approval.

It's about fucking time.

With any luck, this will be the start of a trend that legally encourages people to start taking responsibility for themselves and their actions.


#4

The American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) is firmly behind the Democrats. That's why there was a Democratic filibuster in the Senate to prevent NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES (read that as those ridiculously high punitive damages that are given by misled juries) at $250,000 per incident for medical malpractice suits. That's why the bill to curb the asbestos lobby has been gutted and still may not pass, even in its gutted form. That's why all the Democratic presidential hopefulls were schmoozing at the ATLA conference in San Francisco this past week, begging for donations. They talk so much crap about wanting to help the victims and the little guy, but they're all about preserving the right to trick juries into granting egregrious awards (which in turn hurts the victims, because they are appealed, and a judge is more likely to hear it and even overturn the award -- all of which delays the victim getting compensated).

End rant.


#5

Deezlodog:

Did you just say that you think people are "addicted" to food? If you mean that if we don't eat we will die, and that is your definition of addiction, I guess I could see that, although it's essentially meaningless because it applies to everyone. If you mean that fatty foods are like heroin or nicotine in their inherently "addictive" qualities, I think we have to take a closer look at what is truly addictive and what is just someone's psychological emoulliant for whatever bad feelings they happen to be having.

I'm not a medical person, but I have always thought that an addictive substance was one like heroin or alcohol, which produced physical withdrawl symptoms if it were absent from the system, not just something that tested one's self control. It seems all the rage to call things "addictive," but lets not lose sight of what is really addictive and what is just an example of a lot of people with poor self control. Food addictive like heroin is addictive? I think not.


#6

deezlo - Fast food places are already required to give you that info. But you have to ask for the little pamplet with the nutritional info.

Would making them post that info more publically make a difference? Would warning labels? No. People know it's bad for them. Look at tobacco. The package says "This is poison and it will kill you" (practically), but people smoke anyway.


#7

Deezlodawg,

If the people that are behind these lawsuits don't already know that a BigMac, fries and a coke have more fat and calories then a salad, do you really think looking at a caloric/fat breakdown is going to help. These people have made the CHOICE to eat this way and now they're looking for an easy payoff.

I see ads all of the time for cars that go 0 to 60 in X amount of seconds. With your reasoning, I could buy the car, wreck it and then sue the manufacturer because when they advertised that the car goes fast they were praying on my "addiction" for speed and thrills. Get real! People need to start taking responsibility for their actions. It's that simple.