Sunday, September 19, 2004

Are you fat? Wwhy not sue?

When does personal choice come into play?

BOSTON -- A single lawsuit against the food industry is not enough to reduce the number of overweight and obese Americans, according to panelists at a weekend health law conference.
It will take numerous suits, federal laws and government regulations sweeping across the food and several nonfood industries to make a significant impact.
That message was the underlying theme for the conference on legal approaches to obesity that commenced here yesterday, sponsored by the Public Health Advocacy Institute. The second annual conference, made up of trial lawyers, dietitians and public-health advocates, follows a year in which several obesity-related suits have been filed against food manufacturers and fast-food chains.

Of course, not stuffing your face full of food every chance you get may work too.

This is utterly ridiculous. Most overweight people are that way because they lack control. It is no ones fault but their own and to sue, because you can't control yourself, is wrong. It's lawsuits like this that make people see what a joke our judicial system is.
"We know that litigation ultimately wins," said George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf III, one of the leaders for the obesity lawsuits. But Mr. Banzhaf pushed the 90 or so participants at Sherman Hall at Northeastern University yesterday to think beyond suing the food industry.
Mr. Banzhaf said he plans to talk at today's panel about potential lawsuits such as suing doctors who do not warn and counsel obese patients at risk for triggering other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, gallbladder disease and various cancers.

Yes, it's the doctors fault too. Let me tell you, every time I go to the doctors, she tells me 2 things, quit smoking and lose weight. EVERY doctor does the same thing. Really, how about skipping the fourth and fifth plates of food?
"What we see as a hallmark of addiction is loss of control and we see that in a lot of obese people who have lost control with eating," said William Jacobs, anesthesiology and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Florida.
Mr. Jacobs, who works in the university's brain institute, said obese subjects in his studies often demonstrate addiction symptoms such as preoccupation, relapses, narrowness of interests, loss of control and continued detrimental behaviors despite knowing the harm associated with excessive weight gain.

So, the answer is to sue restaraunts? How about going to the root of the problem, the persons own mind? I mean, wouldn't that actually solve the problem?
Marshall Manson, spokesman for an Alexandria nonprofit advocacy group promoting individual freedoms, said the talk of more obesity-based lawsuits is troubling.
"We are worried that there has been some progress toward limiting choice and waving goodbye to personal responsibility," said Mr. Manson with the Center for Individual Freedom. "It seems as if this group is running the same play book the tobacco lawyers did, except they're dealing with a perfectly legal and healthy -- if consumed in moderate proportions -- product."

How completely unfeeling. How dare he place the blame on the person ingesting 5 tons of food. They can't help but to keep ordering and ordering. No, no, personal responsibility shouldn't come into play in this. It's all those big bad Big Macs fault.