by SM
Published on: Nov 20, 2003
Type: Opinions

One day I was having a conversation with my friend Atul, regarding the law suits against Mc Donald’s. Apparently, Atul doesn’t share my feelings when it comes to this issue. My take on the situation is that, more and more, people are looking to pass the blame, rather than take responsibility for their actions. True, eating at McDonald’s and Burger King made you fat. But no one made you decide to have all your meals at the fast food joints. No one put a gun to your head and made you polish off those fries. And it’s hardly a secret that hamburgers and French fries are high on the fat-grams and consequently the calories. People should learn to take responsibility for their eating habits. Just because you have no self-control when it comes to food, it does not give you the right to try to pass the buck on to some corporation, just because you think they can pay up.

Atul’s stand comes from “addiction”. Being an ex-smoker, he has undergone a form of addiction to nicotine, and having had to struggle to finally give up; he knows what it’s like to fight an addiction. His theory is that like one can be addicted to nicotine in tobacco that makes it so hard to give up smoking, there are some people that become “addicted” to the fat in foods that make it that much harder to give up the fried stuff. For a 400 lb man who is addicted to fats, McDonalds and the other fast food places provide such easy outlets are their pitfalls. Corporations like McDonalds should take responsibility for the food they dish out (no pun intended) to the public. The current situation is equated to the situation in the sixties and seventies, when people didn’t realize the cons of smoking, nor did they realize the addictive nature of the additives in cigarettes. Atul’s opinion is- just like the bottom fell from under the tobacco manufacturers when the effects of smoking became widely known, and the manufacturers’ ploy of adding addictive ingredients to cigarettes, a similar deluge of lawsuits is waiting to happen against fast-food places.

I’m not convinced. I don’t believe that one can become as addicted to fats as one can be addicted to cigarettes. Sure, fatty foods are enticing, and fatty foods taste so good, and we all have cravings. But being able to resist fats is more a matter of will power than a matter of trying to over-power a physical dependency. I do agree that in advertising Happy Meals for kids and enticing them with cheap little toys, the fast food restaurants are exhibiting a gross irresponsibility. When you’re aware that the food you offer is not of the highest nutritional quality, advertising it to impressionable young minds, as what food should be is immoral in my opinion, almost as much as adding addictives to cigarettes. Advertising of alcohol and tobacco has been curbed to protect the youth, and I believe, advertising fatty, non-nutritional foods should suffer the same fate. But suing a company because their USPs are fatty foods is just taking the weasel way out of taking responsibility for your weight problems.

Weight-gain is purely in the individual’s hands, when not a genetic disorder. How much you eat depends on how aware you are of nutrition and what you choose to eat. Because you choose to eat at a place that serves potatoes fried in fat, does not mean that the restaurant is responsible for your poor health. Get a grip people; take responsibility for your actions.

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