Fast-Food Lawsuits and the Cheeseburger Bill: Critiquing Congress's Response to the Obesity Epidemic
61 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2006
Obesity may be the greatest cause of preventable death in the United States. One of the ways that Americans have sought to address the issue - or capitalize off it - is by bringing lawsuits against food companies that allegedly contribute to the problem. In response to these lawsuits, in recent years the Republican Congress has tried to pass legislation that would ban such fast-food lawsuits. This Note examines the arguments put forth in Congress for and against the so-called Cheeseburger Bill, as the proposed lawsuit ban is called. The Note concludes that the legislation is unnecessary, relies on a flawed view of the causes of obesity, and is in fact counterproductive. Congress should instead be taking serious, positive legislative steps to address this epidemic health problem.
Keywords: obesity, overweight, Congress, Cheeseburger Bill, fast-food lawsuits, Banzhaf, fast food, legislation, fat, tort reform, personal responsibility
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