Fast-Food Lawsuits and the Cheeseburger Bill: Critiquing Congress's Response to the Obesity Epidemic

61 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2006

See all articles by David Burnett

David Burnett

University of Virginia - School of Law, Alumnus or Degree Candidate Author

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Burnett, David, Fast-Food Lawsuits and the Cheeseburger Bill: Critiquing Congress's Response to the Obesity Epidemic. Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, Vol. 14, No. 3, p. 357, Spring 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=949944

David Burnett (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - School of Law, Alumnus or Degree Candidate Author ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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