"What's the Deal With Airline Peanuts?":Beef with fast food industry eats away at self-responsibility

I used to think of my beer gut as something of a hindrance. But now it's like money in the bank.

A little more than a month ago, Caesar Barber of Bronx, N.Y. announced he was launching a class action suit against the fast food industry, claiming he never understood the dangers of scarfing down hamburgers, fries, chicken and too many other greasy treats.

So it finally had to come to this.

First there were the cigarette smokers who sued the tobacco industry because they continued to puff away, wheezing there way into lung cancer.

Then there was the woman who spilled coffee on herself and sued McDonald's for more than $3 million dollars.

Now there's a fat man who couldn't get enough of that food that's so finger-licking good.

My question is where are the judges to laugh these cases out of court? Do Americans not want to take responsibility for their actions anymore?

Barber alleges that the fast-food companies misinformed there customers as to the dangers of their food. Of course, the deep fryers behind the counter should have been a tip-off to anyone concerned about their diet. And then there's the writing on the wall in the form of the nutritional charts.

The lawsuit is the first legal action taken against the industry for their alleged contributions to obesity, according to ABC News.

Has the fast food industry contributed to obesity? Sure, just like big tobacco has contributed to lung cancer. But people often fail to point the finger in the right direction: toward themselves. Even after he had one heart attack, Barber continued to frequent such establishments as Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King four or five times a week. John Doyle, co-founder of the Center for Consumer Freedom, a restaurant industry group made a good point in an ABC News article.

"To win his suit he has to convince a jury or a judge that people are too stupid to feed themselves or their children," he said. "If people are so stupid, should they be allowed to vote or go to work in the morning?"

Barber's action is almost like someone suing Anheiser-Busch because they had a few too many drinks, then crashed their car into a telephone pole. Or suing the bar for pouring the drinks.

It's a simple case of people not wanting to deal with their own problems, which can set a dangerous precedent, chipping away at our rights to enjoy everything that is good and sweet in life, regardless of whether it'll help us live longer.

I don't smoke and I'm no big fan of tobacco, but I fully support people's right to light up. If they have any health issues down the road, it's their own problem. No one was forcing them to take up smoking in the first place.

But the government has heaped tax upon tax on tobacco, because they say its bad for you. Could this happen to red meat because eating too much of it can lead to heart disease, or sugar, because it can rot away your teeth?

Personally I love fast-food and maybe all that money I've spent on deep-fried delicacies was a good investment. If I'm like Barber perhaps I can get it all to pay off. McDonald's will provide for my retirement.

Robert Lopez

senior journalism

rclopez@bsu.edu


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