With 60% of Americans being obese, is anyone at fault but themselves? I say the companies have some fault, in that they're providing the food that is unhealthy, but their portion is not big enough to warrent them being sued.
The question that I had to ask myself, is if they would be obese with or without any one of these companies, and the answer I had was yes. IF they are suing say burger king, I have to rationalize that without burger king they would still be obese, so how could Burger King have any responsibility?
If a consenting adult that is fully aware of the caloric content, and possible obesity associated with it, takes action by buying and eating alot of unhealthy food, in my opinion no one can be held responsible but them.
2. Suing fast food companies doesn't make them responsible
for other people's obesity, it makes THEM responsible for their marketing and labelling tactics. It makes them responsible for the manner in which they marekt a fat filled chicken bacon sandwich as a "healthy alternative" for a hamburger.
As for personal responsibility, corporations have personhood...can't they be personally responsible for something? Their products are in elementary school under the guise of charitable cooperatives.
BTW, if 60% of Americans are obese, one can reasonably assume obesity is an epidemic. There is always a CAUSE to an epidemic. The average American has seen over 1 million commercial messages by the time they are 20 years old now. Repetition is a form of brainwashing.
Actually the average American sees 10,000 fast food ads a year on commercials, that's 200,000. by the age 20. I'm not brainwashed, I've watched as much tv as anyone else, and i'm not brainwashed. It's a bit of a stretch to say that someone can be brainwashed to eat something.
9. As I said, they market their products in schools away from parent's
control. People don't get obese over night. Nobody is suing these companies to make a greedy bastard rich. They are suing them because LOSS OF MONEY changes corporate behavior. Americans are eating more of these foods than ever, Americans are fatter than ever.
Who better to replace the cost to society than those who profit off of creating an epidemic. Should you and I pay for it?
And actually they don't really market to school as you think they do. I'm currently in school, and my sister teaches at a different district, i've been in her school alot, and never have I seen any marketing. The most I've seen is the logo of coca-cola or pepsi.
15. Ummm...yes they do...are you in elementary school???
My son comes home with Burger King crowns, Burger King pencils, coupons for free pizza at Pizza Hut if he reads x number of books each month, coupons for free sundae from McDonalds if he earns As, as well as a whole assortment of Happy Meal toys that the FFRs donates to the schools to distribute to the kids for the "Give me five" good behavior program.
Kids rule most roosts, in case you have never noticed. On Saturdays, a trip to town, everyone's hungry, Mom asks, "Where do you want to eat?" What is usually the response? Not "B Healthy ORganic Foods." It's "Burger King," "mickey D's" or "Pizza Hut."
Like NSMA said, if you were brainwashed, you wouldn't know it. Do you think my kid is aware of the corporate influence when he gets a hunkering for Chicken McNuggets?
Your anecdotal experiences do not reflect the national reality.
18. Higgs, you are long on sophistry and short on facts
The reason any but them will pay for it is that we have programs such as medicare that cover people. YOu claimed in another section to be a liberal (in your exchange with Skinner ) so I doubt you have a problem with medicare or with social programs...unless you were lying about having liberal tendencies simply to avoid having your account shut off so that you may continue to start flame bait discussions only backed by your subjective interpretations and void of all facts. I personally doubt you would ever do that so I must assume you would support society caring for it's weakest and most vulnerable members.
If the world consisted of only that which you have seen then I guess neutrinos don't exist.
Here are some facts to expand your subjective reality:
Surveys were returned by 171 school districts that represent 345 high schools. Responding districts serve 16 percent of California's 1.7 million public students
At 71 percent of the school districts surveyed, a la carte items, including pizza, hamburgers, submarine sandwiches, French fries, chips, cookies, yogurt, bagels, ice cream, and sodas, accounted for up to 70 percent of all food sales at the school.
Brand-name products proliferate: more than half the schools either carry Taco Bell, Subway, Dominos, Pizza Hut, or other branded foods.
Every day more fast-food outlets are taking over school food service programs, selling their greasy junk food in the very places that should be devoted to the care and nurturing of young people. More than 4,500 U.S. schools today serve Taco Bell products. The American School Food Service says that more than 30 percent of public high schools now sell name-brand fast food. Schools do this because they make more money from it than they would operating their own food services.
Meanwhile, the diets our kids are eating just plain suck. Government figures show that American children obtain a staggering 50 percent of their calories from added fat and sugar. Only 1 percent of our kids regularly eat diets resembling official dietary guidelines. The diets of nearly half of all U.S. children fail to meet ANY of the serving numbers recommended by the Food Guide Pyramid. http://www.foodrevolution.org/askjohn/31.htm
I realize your next response will be that no one is forcing them to make this choice, however, school children are minors. If we wouldn't hold them to a contract, we certainly cannot hold them responsible for poor dietary habits due to the marketing by companies who hire psychologists to help them market to the most vulnerable segment of the population...children.
to start off your post by calling me some insane name. If you think I'm Higgs I suggest you take it up with the administrators.
I like how you automatically assume my opinion is shit, you probably didn't even read what I've wrote, and I'm not alone in what I think. Just because it differes from your opinion doesn't mean it's idiotic, or unliberal, infact doing what your doing is unliberal. But I am flattered that you read everything I ever write and remember it, and try to use it against me at later dates.
Okay, they carry the food, what is your point. Should Burger King turn down a contract to feed children, or is that on the hands of the school board? You are getting mad at the wrong people. And I guess you also think that since they sell there product, the product is being unfairly shoved on our children? Okay, so it is the schools that are doing it, so why should we sue the fast food company? Isn't your problem with the school?
Sorry, how is a school hiring taco bell to sell them food marketing? Is it that the food is wrapped in the taco bell wrapper, would you expect taco bell to sell the food in a "Healthy Chioce" wrapper? But that would be copywrite infringment.
You are on a witch hunt, you attacked me at the start for expressing a common opinion, and you attack food companies for selling food. Should they turn down a contract, and then make the school get food from a different fast food company? Or even healthy food, that the kids won't eat because the flavor is no kid friendly, and it cost to much money?
You say I don't have any facts, then you raffle off some observation about marketing to kids, which are the most vulnerable segment? If you want me to get more facts, maybe you should support everything yo usay with facts. Or do you know realize that some thing do not require facts. You need no fact to tell me that children are vulnerable, because it is common sense, and you need no fact to tell me that they market to children, because you assume that they are greedy assholes. You may be right, but I'm not gonna simply say you don't have facts and dismiss your argument.
Children are going to eat food(sorry no survey on that), and odds are they are going to eat what they like(sorry no pie graph for you), so if they are going to eat fast food regaardless, the marketing would simply be to get them to eat Taco Bell over Burger King, not Taco Bell over carrots. The problem is that Americans are Hedinistic, and Fast food is Fast, and easy, and convienent. Most parents would rather pacify their kids with fat, then hear the whine, and give them rice and beeans.
I wonder how many kids would come home and complain to there parents that the food they serve at school is gross, and to expensive, Sorry no fact that healthy food costs more. If you want to change something, change the society. Eating fat is not bad for you, if you do it in moderation, where in the commercials do they tell you to go to their restraunt 7 times a week?
While you try to demonize me with calling me a Higgs, and telling me I have no facts, you do not look at the consequences of your actions. I would complain to my parents if my school started trying to control what I eat, Healthy food, and so would alot of kids. A change like that cannot happen unless the society itself changes(no fact on that sorry). Everyone, atleast alot of people eat fatty foods, it's just to bad that the majority of those people abuse it, and cannot control themselves. If someone was really worried about what they were eating, I venture to say that they would eat healthy no matter how many advertisements they see. The advertisements reach people that already eat fatty shit, it doesn't make the start eating it, it just persuades them to eat my fat over your fat. The problem lies within the individual.
Edited on Sat Jul-19-03 02:35 PM by nothingshocksmeanymo
School boards are strapped for money so they make a faustian bargain with fast food companies. The issue is being taken up with school boards as we speak. Be that as it may, I suppose if fast food companies eliminated their supersize products that actually clog people's arteries by marketing more fat and sodium in one meal than is recommended for several days by most food charts that would be a start.
Where did I say your opinion was shit? I said it was long on sophistry ( arguing for the sake of arguing) and short on facts. It was. Sorry you find that offensive. Use some facts and that will remove the crux of my argument.
I never attacked you in my first post, I countered your argument. If countering your argument is an attack....gee...is that my problem or yours? Aren't you personally responsible for your reactions? Or is personal responsibility for everyone else and not you? Guess we don't like it when our own mantras are turned back at us. Interesting, ain't it?
The rest of your rant is so incohesive that I don't know where to start except to say that it assumes many things parents will do, children will do, and never once considers the lengths corporations will go to.
You are correct that many problems lie within the individual. Specifically those individuals like yourself who repeatedly fail to consider that we live in a world where if everyone acts like an individual all the time, there can be no consensus on how best to address the health problems and consequences of poor choices at the community level.
I am sorry you consider me using your old handle an attack. It seems that there are two 17 year old posters then starting threads on DU wherein they only back themselves up with subjective platitudes, repeatedly offend the english language with a lack of spell check capabilities and repeatedly misuse among other words the constructs of THEIR, THERE AND THEY'RE! Small world, isn't it?
on edit, given that I responded to you for the most part on point in all my other posts, how is it that I didn't read your drivel? You are correct that I didn't read your last post in its entirety. In the big scheme of things, life is relatively short. It's 3 minutes I will never get back.
Higgs, you are long on sophistry and short on facts The reason any but them will pay for it is that we have programs such as medicare that cover people. YOu claimed in another section to be a liberal (in your exchange with Skinner ) so I doubt you have a problem with medicare or with social programs...unless you were lying about having liberal tendencies simply to avoid having your account shut off so that you may continue to start flame bait discussions only backed by your subjective interpretations and void of all facts. I personally doubt you would ever do that so I must assume you would support society caring for it's weakest and most vulnerable members.
Hmm, calling me higgs isn't an attacak? You might wanna take that up with the admin's, because I'm pretty sure it's against the rules to follow me around calling me insane "handles"
"unless you were lying about having liberal tendencies simply to avoid having your account shut off so that you may continue to start flame bait discussions only backed by your subjective interpretations and void of all facts." Yep, definatly not an attack.
I don't even know if you argued anything, all you did was call me incoherent, and then justify your assumption that I'm someone else. I would venture to say that the plurality of people don't care if they use their there or they're. Flame Bait? Sure, everyone posts that every now and then, and I'm sure their's a hefty number of 17 year olds on this forum.
26. Well if you're not gonna read what I write, what is the point?
The fact still remains that obesity is a symptom that goes beyond diet, and into life style, and genetics. If people are going to eat what they think taste's good, changing fast food calories won't do a damn thing. It will make them go into the grocery store and eat a bag of doritos for breakfast. The advertisements do not inspire someone to eat that shit, it inspires them to eat my fat over your fat. School's asking for, or making cheap food deals with fast food companies, is a problem with the school, and not the company. And the problem of the school is a result of the society that wants cheap food, and stuff their children like. There is definately a problem, but it a societal problem, that cannot be resolved by making a few obese men and women rich.
Consumers need to stop being stupid sheep and find out what the hell they are eating. Gawd, it's so simple to do...
I actually bother to read the labels and then piss and moan because the healthier, natural stuff costs tons more money than the processed filth being sold as "food". But I buy it, knowing that if I didn't and others didn't, the company would stop selling it - leaving only the processed garbage being sold as "food" available.
On the other hand, McDonalds, Burger Slop, and all the other places entice the kiddies with some godawful toy or gimmick. The kiddies become the ideal advertising tool, particularly when peer influence is involved. The parents ultimately capitulate, thinking that, somehow, it's made for kids therefore it's good (um, it isn't). Fast food slophouses also (generally) DON'T post nutritional signs, don't encourage their customers to think - and indeed, they cajole the customers to super-size the meal which adds hundreds more calories and several more grams of fat into the "meal". Americans, bred to believe that so much more product for such a small extra cost is a good thing, buy into the super-size hook, line, and sinker. Typical repuke mindset. So, these fast foosd joints are surely responsible to an extent. Maybe not the extent the prosecutors want, but responsible they are.
Even a recent Arby's commercial has the audacity to call the bread for one of its new sandwiches "harvest white". That's harvest WHITE. White bread is bleached and all the nutrients are removed in the process. I can't fathom how it's supposed to taste better or why they give it such an enticing name (which only causes me to upon hearing it...)
Even at the Taste of Minnesota, there were parents struggling and threatening to leave and yet eventually capitulating to the kiddies who wanted ice cream when the good humor man came around. Very sad to see. But I see parents caving in all over the place, so nothing's wrong - right?
Considering it wouldn't take much to make ice cream healthier (using skim milk instead would be a big help, duh, and they already do for the overpriced 'healthy' products)... Corporate America is at fault as well; they always keep the healthier food expensive so people will naturally flock toward the lower-priced foods, without bothering about nutrition because they probably think it's all the same anyway.
In the end, it's education and learning to eat right most of the time, with occasional treats. I learned enough in grade school - and Bejezus H Khryst, I have learning disabilities and ADD, amongst everything else. How the hell did I learn and utilize good nutritional practices while the normal students DIDN'T?!?!?! It's just insane. Of course, I was in grade school in 1982. What's gotten worse since then?!
I consider myself fortunate I don't have a family to feed. I'd never buy pre-packaged garbage like "Lunchables", but then the kid would hate me for eternity. !^@%#$ corporations using kids as marketing tools... Ever read the nutrition label in those for-kiddie trash food products? It's no bloody wonder we have a bunch of "Junior Fat Alberts" rolling on school grounds... Parents don't care and want to keep the children quiet combined with corporations who only care about money and you end up with a very nasty situation. People have got to start waking up, it's obvious the government won't step in to reintroduce common sense (the pukes would truly hate that because it restricts their "freedom").
Oh yeah, the insanely fast paced society that the "librul media" occasionally mentions in passing also drives us toward FAST food. And the more we scarf down means the more we're inclined to eat... I'm amazed the media points out how insanely fast our society runs at anyway. I wonder when society will finally break down...
12. There's another issue under all of this, however
and it's how we as a society are educated re: food. We are in the grips of a totalitarian form of agriculture which has been destroying our planet for 10,000 years. Isn't it interesting that the Fertile Crescent--the cradle of civilization--is largely a desert? Isn't it mindboggling that agribusiness is basically destroying the topsoil on their factory farms as they push small farmers out of business? For the most part, these things have not been questioned.
We are doing a very poor job indeed of educating our children re: foods and addictions to substances such as sugar and all flours (be they rice, wheat, oat, spelt, etc.). Case in point, fruits and fruit juices. We are led to believe that an apple juice or an orange juice is "healthier" than a coca-cola. While there are more nutrients in the apple juice, it is like eating I don't know how many apples (4? 5?) with the sugar/caloric content. The pressing and the concentration of the apple causes a lot of havoc in our bodies, and we rationalize this.
It would be better just to eat the apple. The beet, instead of the distilled, enriched (poisoned), concentrated form of sugar. The oats and its bran, rather than its flour.
I'm speaking as someone who was 297 pounds in January and is now 190. I've lost this weight without the surgery, but I have to say I was woefully uneducated. I'm not sure that the lawsuit is the best way to go in this whole thing--I agree that there is something to be said for personal responsibility. However, the marketing is a real problem. In a way, our marketing is a mirror of the process of refining sugar and flour. It distills these messages into a soundbite. Have It Your Way? Hm. I think I'll choose a butternut squash, r/t a big mac. How often do people think these things? Pretty damn rarely.
I worry about corpseorations infiltrating the school systems and saturating the powerless kids therein with their toxicities. Obesity is a problem for the obese, not for the corpseorations--they can make even more money off that cycle of shame and self-loathing that they must needs lock the young into to continue their undead "personhood." That is something to sue to stop, I think. That is something that requires a legal remedy to stop these vampires in their tracks. Perhaps Jefferson County in Colorado should sue Cunta-Cola, McCuntalds, Burger Cunt and all the other cunts (syn. "vampire") out there for Columbine.
13. The right to sue is the right to have your complaint heard
under strict rules of evidence and logic. There is only one place in this country for that, and that is the courts. You take that away and it doesn't matter what else you do, you have taken away the right to something approaching a fair fight. In the case of the fast food companies, at least they can defend themselves adequately, and they have the upper hand based on the resources they can muster to prepare their defense.
What the corporations are constantly carping about through the media is that they would rather try their cases in the media because the media is paid for by advertising, and they always assume that the case against their sponsors is crap.
Now I suspect that this particular case is crap, but I have no objection to it being proven crap in a court of law by even handed rules of evidence and application of logic by people required to review all of the evidence.
14. There are other serious factors in obesity (poverty for one)...
Fast food is, by-and-large, cheaper than the cost of the materials and time involved in preparing healthy meals. It's also a hell of a lot cheaper to sit on the couch watching TV than it is to have a gym membership or invest in exercise equipment.
And in our modern-day let-them-eat-cake economy, in which more and more people are working two or more jobs (me, for instance), fewer and fewer people have time to shop for and prepare a healthy meal for their family every day.
I, personally, think that ALL major corporations who have contributed to our wage-slave service economy need to be brought up on charges for making us fat.
16. There was an article in the Fargo Forum recently about this...
The guy (older guy) who wrote it claimed that when he was growing up in the 50's and 60's, there was as much junk fast-food (drive-in's, defunct burger places), sugar pop, candy, chips as there are today, and that he and his friends would gobble that stuff down on a daily basis, but none of them were fat. He said it was because he and his friends stayed active. They didn't lie around and play video games or sleep in until 2pm, or surf the net all the live long day, or have their eyes glued to the tele, or do anything else that was sedentary in their houses all day. They would go outside and play sports and do other things that were active. He said that having a crappy childhood diet and yet being heavily active essentially cancelled each other out, and the result was that most of them were average size.
Now I don't want to sound like a hypocrite or anything, cause I personally am 35-40 lbs. overweight, but I try to maintain a fairly active excersize regimen, including walking twice all the way around the Mall of America three times a week. Also, I still kick field goals (football) on a regular basis. But nevertheless, I still haven't made much progress in weight loss since I lost 15 lbs. last summer, and I still have a vice for fast food. But I really think inactivity plays a MUCH bigger role than anything else.
31. Too many alternatives to an active lifestyle are a part
Video games, increased TV watching time, more and more children growing up in areas without programs geared to give children after-school activities, etc. Even the school programs themselves are falling short. My little brother told me that our old high school was now only having gym classes every other day, while 6 yrs ago when I was still in school, gym classes were daily. The school is trying to find ways to save money, and cutting back gym classes means less equipment to replace and gym teachers to pay. I asked around, and this is happening in at least 3 other schools nearby too. This sets a very poor example for children growing up who are not getting sufficient exercise.
I won't discount the connection to increased junk foods, though. I have no doubt that increased fast food, pop, candy, etc has seriously harmed our population. However, how many people in the US eat at fast food restaurants on a daily basis? Even if you ate there once a day every day, that still leaves 2 other meals a day for you to eat at home. You can't tell me that a person who eats daily at McDonald's transforms into a health food nut at home when they make dinner themselves. I see eating out at fast-food restaurants as part of a symptom of a greater problem, not a direct cause. You eat fast food to compliment the unhealthy food you eat at home, not the other way around, IMHO.
I'm going for a walk now, and on Tuesday I'm gonna burn major calories helping pile haybales on the farm. If there was one good thing about growing up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, it was that I learned how to stay active.
I don't eat a lot of fast food. I might go for a burger or a taco once a week. What packed the 80 pounds on me was several years of living on wine and snacks from the grocery store. Should I sue Matt and Gina and the Frito Bandito for my situation?
Well, sure, I always have the "Right" to sue, but I would expect to be laughed out of the courtroom, too.
No, there's nobody to blame but my own damn self. I KNEW that I was shoving a lot of calories down the pipe. I KNEW I was sitting on my ass and not burning any of them. I just didn't GIVE a shit. Of course, I'm one of those rare ducks who knows if I wind up lung cancer it's my own damn fault, too, but that's another topic.
The legislation in question is nothing more than a foot-in-the-door ploy to set precedent for giving blanket exemption to corporations for the years of blatant false advertising they have engaged in.
The tobacco industry tried the same ploy and didnt get away with it. They should not have gotten away with it for the very same reasons. They, like the junk-food industry have spent BILLIONS advertising thier product as safe, when in fact IT IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN.
If your willing to overlook the fact that this is just another pro-corporate anti-responsibility/accountability measure adopted by the Pubs in power, just because it only applies to people you feel 'deserved it', then remember you helped make it happen when they use this as a excuse to shove more such legislation down the pipe, such as blanket exemptions for tobacco, asbestos, and every other product corporate America has been killing people with for 75 years.
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