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Is Fat the Next Tobacco?

Got lawyer clients? This could mean some new "products" in the pipeline!

     
7:07 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Is Fat the Next Tobacco? [fortune.com]

Interesting article about the increasing toll being a "Fast Food Nation" takes on the public and the potential repurcussions in the courtroom.

"The precedents, the ammo, the missiles are already there and waiting in a silo marked 'tobacco,' " says Victor Schwartz, general counsel of the American Tort Reform Association.

In 1999 physicians began reporting an alarming rise in children of obesity-linked type 2 diabetes. Once an obese youngster develops diabetes, he or she will never get rid of it. That's a lot more irreversible than a smoking addiction.

In some states, like California, plaintiffs can force companies to disgorge all profits attributable to advertising that employs such statements [literally true but misleading..added], and the plaintiff can win without having to prove that even a single individual was actually tricked by the statement.

For at least one industry, though, the new spotlight on fat may be a glimmer of unaccustomed good news. Anecdotally, we've heard that smoking has helped a lot of people lose weight.
8:17 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I for one am not really sure how they can nail "fat" selling companies. With tobacco, they had the golden key in the fact that they proved that nicotine was addictive and won on the stance that the "victims" were addicted and had no choice but to smoke.

I am pretty sure that no one has proven that fatty foods are addictive.

I will lose what shred of respect I have for the American government if they do come down on "fat" companies. If they are to blame for Americans getting fat, then it is just best that the government buy a copy of 1984 and use it as a blueprint for how to run the American citizen's life. Because lord knows, if it is somebody else's fault we eat like pigs, then we can't think past a fart in how to run our own lives.

8:19 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Actually, the suit against MacDonalds was thrown out today. Not a good omen for those who would go after the food industry for obesity claims.
8:30 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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hannamyluv: fat is used to strenghten the aroma of a food product. but there is other stuff which might be called addictive in food, especially fast food.

nevertheless, i heard the supermarkets in the usa are full of fatfree-prods. this won't be good for the lawyers pipeline.... ;)

8:51 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well, I'd have to say there's something deceptive going on when a company implies its food is good for you, while a single meal there often contains more calories than the average adult female needs in an entire day.

That said, those kids should be suing their own parents for letting them eat that way...

9:48 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it is so much about addiction to fatty artery clogging foods as the slick marketing targeted at kids, and schools being in finicial straights so that they practically have to strike up deals and sell out to the junk food peddlers just to buy books for the kids.
9:51 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Ahh yes... installing soda machine sin the hallways and fast food outlets in the cafeterias. I'd forgotten about that. Sad, really. Kids walk out of a classroom after learning about the food pyramid, and walk straight into fast-food alley.

Shouldn't be allowed, IMO. But then, the stuff they serve around here for school lunches isn't much better...

10:41 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Here are some interesting NPR stories. Requires RealAudio for the full audio stories. The healthy vending machines is good sign that healthy foods can be better for the students and school.

Vending Machines
Healthy Snacks a Hit in California Schools [discover.npr.org]

You'd get fat too if you ate the daily recommend amount of carbohydrates from the pyramid.

Food Pyramid
Defeating Childhood Obesity
[npr.org]Is the Food Pyramid Obsolete? [discover.npr.org]

Thanks

11:34 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yea, the govt stuff we had in school probably wasn't all that healthy either. Since it was more often stuck to the walls, the ceiling, under the lunch tables, or thrown at each other than eaten maybe that's why it doesn't seem to have adversely affected health.:)

It's amazing how much stuff you can stick to the bottom of a lunch table with some of that school lunch pudding.

11:39 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Did you ever get the "tapioca" pudding? 10x worse than the regular puddings... looked & felt more like wallpaper paste than food.
11:43 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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those kids should be suing their own parents for letting them eat that way

that's really damn hard for those kids, indeed. i think this is a typical shows: kids are mostly subjects of hate for their parents.

11:50 pm on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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In most cases it's a lot more complicated than that... kids are masters of manipulating parents to get what they want. If any of those kids had been told by mom and/or dad, "That's it. No more McDonalds for you, young man!" they probably would have had an absolute fit. I know parents who's kids totally run the house, and they don't hate their children at all. The kids make them feel so guilty whenever they excercise any discipline, they knuckle under and the kids get their way.

That said, it is a parent's responsibility to stand up to the tantrums and guilt trips and do what's best for their kids. Kids will always push your limits and test their boundaries. If you see your kid outgrowing their waistband when they still have 6 inches of inseam to roll up on their pants, it's time to say "No more junk food." Let 'em throw a tantrum. A good tantrum probably burns a lot of calories. ;)

12:04 am on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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looked & felt more like wallpaper paste than food.

worked just like wallpaper paste too.

 

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