Personal Responsibility: Fast Food

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Kelsey Randall
Essay 2
Professor Nilton Gomes

In 2002 a series of complaints were filed against the McDonald’s corporation. The plaintiffs who filed the complaints claimed that McDonald’s caused their obesity (USDC). This lawsuit raised a surprisingly controversial question of corporate versus personal responsibility. Is McDonalds really to blame for these teens weight problems? The answer is no, obesity is absolutely a matter of personal responsibility. Mcdonalds advertising did not force the plaintiffs into their restaurant or force feed them double cheeseburgers. It certainly did not eradicate the plaintiffs knowledge about the importance of eating right and living a healthy lifestyle. The idea that obesity could be considered a matter of corporate responsibility threatens to undermine the American people's right to choose how they will live their lives.

People who believe that McDonalds unfairly advertises to children to not realize that it is within the companies rights to advertize freely. The first amendment of the constitution protects freedom of speech, and this includes commercial advertising (Briant). The vast majority of companies advertises to children to a certain extent. This is because it works. Children are very easy to advertise to with the use of toys or characters, and they are very susceptible to it (BrandConsultant). Also, companies are trying to build lifelong consumers. This is a marketing strategy, not manipulation. Whether or not the advertised item is appropriate for the child is the job of the parent. They are the ones who are responsible for the child, and it is their job to monitor what their child is getting, or in this case eating (York). Parents also should be the ones who teach their children how to live a healthy and active lifestyle. It is a fact that children's decision making skills are poorly developed, and that is why they are cared for until they are adults (JJDPA). Until that point, it is the parents job to look...
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