Who Should Be Watching What We Eat?
There is an old saying that you cannot legislate against ignorance. This, in fact, may be exactly what the government tries to do as it places increasing regulatory restraints on what we eat. It is absurd to think that individuals who refuse to accept responsibility for their eating habits should foster increasing numbers of lawsuits and greater regulatory efforts by the U.S. government, all because they place the blame for their lack of responsibility, and subsequent obesity, on the food service industry. The heart of the issue over regulatory efforts aimed at the fast-food industry stems from one’s perspective about individual responsibility for health. Motorcyclists who drive without helmets cost tax-payers money when involved in an accident. Helmet laws exist because of it. However, with respect to excess smoking, alcohol consumption, and eating fast food, one must ask should government force me to do what’s in my own health, safety and welfare interests? Like those who attacked the tobacco industry, claiming they were responsible for the high healthcare costs and lost productivity associated with smokers, fast-food chains are now coming under increasing scrutiny of a similar kind. Because litigant-happy lawyers abound in the U.S., willingly suing those who serve coffee for not warning patrons it is hot or willing to sue makers of a double quarter-pounder with cheese for giving coronary disease to someone who foolishly consumes 1000s of them in place of nutritious foods. Unfortunately, this puts the emphasis of responsibility on corporations instead of individuals, which does not change the problem on the individual level. Some think responsibility for obesity is the result of corporate America and the fast-food industry’s power over individuals. After all the products were created by American corporations with considerable thought and effort and then sold in the same way. While it is true, sometimes innovation plays to...
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