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Should fast food restaurants be shielded from obesity-related lawsuits?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on July 14, 2005

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Photo of Don Mayberger

“Well, sometimes they don’t tell you what they are putting in the food. If they tell the truth about the ingredients, then yes.”

Photo of Jill McHugh

“Yeah, I do. Individuals make the choice by walking in the door. No one forces them.”

Photo of Skyler Detherage

“Yeah, I agree with that. It’s not the fast-food restaurants’ fault, it’s the person’s who is eating it.”

Photo of Max Phillips

“I don’t think they should be, because they should provide food that is healthy enough not to be detrimental.”

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Comments

blnde84 9 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I think they should be protected. Nobody is forcing you to eat those calories. Yes while the restaurants may serve overwhelming burgers with outrageous calories they also serve smaller portions and salads.

If it becomes okay to file lawsuits against fast food restaurants is it going to become okay to file against all you can eat buffets because nobody set a limit on how much you can eat or Little Debbie and Hostess because they make HoHos and Twinkies.

tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 5 months ago

Well if it tastes good looks good feels good or is fun lets just ban it okay? No sense in living dangerously.

katethegreat 9 years, 5 months ago

Hey Extreme... Wendy's sells pineapple!!! YUMMY!!!

neopolss 9 years, 5 months ago

Yet another example of responsibility being passed around.

Don't worry folks. In the interests of "public health" all junk food and fast food will be banned. Then we can breathe healthy air and eat healthy food, and do away with the fat and non-fat sections in the stores. Government knows best.....

hottruckinmama 9 years, 5 months ago

You can eat at McDonalds or anyway where else and stay skinny. Just gotta watch what you eat and how much.

Tasslehoff 9 years, 5 months ago

No they shouldn't, I mean.. who can tell if the person is obese from simply the fast food restaurant, or all the junk food at home. Simply put, there is no way to prove it. Also, using the same argument, a person eats at home a lot more than they do at fast food restaurants and who's to say what they are eating while watching tv, which is another bad habit that doctors and nutritionists attribute obesity as well as eating right here in front of this screen we are staring at and not getting the exercise that people should be getting. (Mainly the tv...I never sit in front of the computer a lot) :D But NO to suing fast food restaurants, it's a frivolous (sp) lawsuit brought on by one's own lack of self control and learned bad habits.

jonas 9 years, 5 months ago

O-Bob: C'mon, that's not the American way!

acg: I agree. Want to join me on my plague development project?

Richard Heckler 9 years, 5 months ago

Tobacco does cause cancer and kill. The Tobacco industry was not exactly honest about that and they would continue to manipulate levels of nicotine without advising the public.

The fast food business is doing somewhat the same thing. They should be required to provide exactly what is in the hamburger meat,fish,turkey or whatever and what type of grease is being used. Why would any coroporation put sugar(McDonalds) in their french fries? There are allergic reactions to many things so I say to the fast food industry....be different and be honest with your customers.

Redneckgal 9 years, 5 months ago

I have a freind who has a boyfriend who weighs about 450 pounds. He is also "sue happy". If he thought he could get away with it he would sue McDonalds Wendy's Burger King and while he was on the phone trying to do that he would be stuffing his face with fries! I once seen him threaten to sue a resturant because he couldn't fit in the booth. Caused a huge seen. I wanted to crawl under the table. This was at a buffet. All the time he was standing there sceaming at the poor waitress he was standing there with his plate stacked sky high with food. Its hard to have much sympathy for him and folks like him. I think its a good law.

acg 9 years, 5 months ago

WTH? I can't hardly take it anymore. When did personal responsibility for one's own life just fly right out the freaking door? If I go to McD's every day to eat that's my choice. No one forces it on me. If it turns me into a fat ass then it's my fault, not the restaurant's. Stop whining people!! Stop blaming everyone else for your own laziness, stupidity or lack of awareness. Plus, you have to be living under a freaking rock to not know that eating food from McDonalds five times a week will make you fat. This whole "they should have to print it on the menu the fat content, blah blah blah" Who goes out for an obviously greasy burger and fries and thinks to themselves "Hmmm, I wonder if this is the low fat/low carb version?" Have a little bit of sense. Lord, I swear it's time we cull the gene pool.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

People should not be able to sue restraunts of any kind because they are fat! It's their fault they didn't take care of they're body not the owner of the restraunt!! Go take a jog once in a while!!

italianprincess 9 years, 5 months ago

If people are going to stuff their faces then thats their problem.

I myself am a BBW, but I certainly wouldn't try to sue a restaurant for serving the type of food they serve. A person has to have enough will power to know when to stop eating.

I take my little one to McDonald's ( the one of 6th and Waka ) about maybe once a month to eat. He eats then runs around with the other kids that are there. If we eat out elsewhere it may be the Subway where they can get a sandwich.

My boys' are more fruit eaters then junk food eaters so that makes me feel good. I don't keep junk food , soda or candy in the house.

I'm happy my kids are tall and thin, involved in sports and are active. They both take after their other side of the family which is good.

People who try to sue a restaurant for how much they are eating are simply making fools of themselves. I remember a news story about a lady trying to sue McDonalds I believe for her son being obese. This mom let her son eat who knows how many times a day there and as much as he wanted.

Hello lady.........who wears the pants in your family. Control what your child eats and he won't end so obese.

GreenEyedBlues 9 years, 5 months ago

Reeeee-diculous! Until someone holds me at gunpoint and makes me choke down five Big Macs a day, nobody who frequents fast food places should be allowed to hold the restaurants accountable. You know what the hell you're eating. Don't act shocked that you've gained a deuce and a half over a decade of eating all of that fatty crap!

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Wendy's chili is a dietery aide....just think of a finger floating in it........are you still hungry?

linux_chick 9 years, 5 months ago

Everyone knows this country is lawsuit-happy, for better or worse.

That said, I do wish restaurants served more reasonable portions. A "standard" meal at Steak 'n' Shake could put a person back about 2,000 calories (Steakburger w/ cheese, Fries and a shake) without adding condiments to the fries or upsizing at all.

That and common health misnomers. Bagels, for example, are generally believed to be healthy. A standard bagel w/ cream cheese packs almost 600 calories, the equivalent of 3 glazed Krispy Kremes.

Food for thought.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years, 5 months ago

You people aren't taking into account the poor, misguided people that were abused by the lunchlady when they were in grade school. Evil empires like McDonald's and Burger King unfairly target the obese by showing pictures of delicious burgers and thin people having fun while eating them. Then, when they go and partake in the fun, they don't get thin...they don't get happy...they just keep getting heavier and heavier. They have been duped by all the clever marketing. Heck yeah I think they should be able to sue...

One would hope that you detected just a tiny bit of sarcasm in that post...

enochville 9 years, 5 months ago

Although I agree that suing a fast food restaurant for your weight problem is ridiculous and most times the jury would find the restaurant not guilty, I am amazed that some times the claimant wins stupid law suits. I think if you can find a jury that is anti-rich, big business and can identify with the plaintant, you'll see justice thrown out the window.

I agree with The_Original_Bob, that we shouldn't create unnecessary shields from law suits. But, things like malpractice suits have gotten out of hand to the point that doctor's malpractice insurance is way too expensive, which drive up health care costs for all of us. I think the place where we need to fix these problems (and I don't know that much about this) is to hold something like a grand jury who decide whether suits have enough substance to even go to trial. That way we don't clog up the court system with long, expensive frivolous lawsuits. There could be an appeals grand jury as well.

I know grand juries now only deal with criminal charges, but I think that could expanded to lawsuits. What do you guys think of that?

wichita_reader 9 years, 5 months ago

I don't like the idea of granting general immunity from suit to anyone, but our legislators and congresspeople don't always agree with my position.

That being said, I still believe in personal accountability and responsibility, and find most of these suits against the fast food industry more full of sh*t than much of the food the industry serves.

What's next, suits against nudie mags for arthritic hands?

linux_chick 9 years, 5 months ago

OTTR: They don't have to. I'm not talking about passing new legislation or anything. I just wish restaurants would be more reasonable.

Portion sizes in this country are ridiculous; the more we get used to eating until we burst, the more we feel hungry at home for eating smaller portions.

enochville 9 years, 5 months ago

Whenever we go to a restaurant, my wife divides the food on her plate in half. Eats half and packs the rest in a box to go. No one has to eat 1000 calories at one setting just because it is served to you that way.

acg 9 years, 5 months ago

I also don't think the restaurants should necessarily lower portion amounts. I occasionally indulge in a big greasy, drippy cheeseburger and fries and shake that has way too many calories and more food than I really should eat but I just get a hankering for them and that's the way it is. I have a normal body size and exercise and try to take care of myself. Is it my fault that some really fat people have no self control? No it's not! So I don't want them messing with the size of my bacon double cheeseburger (gotta be from Wendy's). I wouldn't demand the liquor industry stop selling cases of beer and fifths of whiskey just because some people are drunks.

acg 9 years, 5 months ago

BTW, that whole little diatribe just made me want a fat burger and a jack on the rocks really bad. :)

linux_chick 9 years, 5 months ago

That's true, enoch. No one is pointing a gun to our heads. I was only making the suggestion that people may be getting used to larger and larger portion sizes... to our detriment.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

but I'll take it with a big fat juicy steak and a baked potato

sunflower_sue 9 years, 5 months ago

It would be just as ridiculous to sue an automobile maker because you weren't paying attention, wrecked your vehicle, and messed up your legs.

Any half-wit knows that overeating causes obesity. (That's "fatness" for the half-wits reading.)

Sue happy people have ruined this country.

"Yes, I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free"....to sue because I want it all without actually working for anything!

Now, I'm going to go have my chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast with real butter and maple syrup. But, I'm not going to be fat 'cause I'll only eat what I should and then later I'll actually exercise. DUH! (Maybe if I burn myself while making them I can sue the griddle co.???)

linux_chick 9 years, 5 months ago

OTTR: Agreed. As a broke college student, especially, I admit I am one of those who looks for the good deals...

And unfortunately, I almost never do the doggy bag.

linux_chick 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm heading off to class. Everyone have a nice day!

beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

uh oh. Even this city-slicker liberal doesn't believe one should be able to sue fast food restaurants because one has achieved obesity. In fact, I even believe that someone who brings such a frivolous suit should be made to pay the defendant's lawyers' fees.

Parents need to be take responsibility and be aware of what they are up against, and do everything they can to fight the heavy marketing from fast food restaurants aimed directly at children.

Trivia time: Who is the number one distributor of toys in the world? Answer: McDonalds.

Mr. Phooey -- sarcasim is the lowest form of humor. It degrades you, offends others, and makes a mockery of the well meaning debates taking place here.

Keep it up.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Applebee's new Bowl's are enough for 2 meals and they're healthy!!!

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Idea time when fatso files their paperwork for the lawsuit they should be taken away to fatso bootcamp!! no fats, no sugars, nothing that taste good only carrots to eat and water to drink. and they can't leave til they're skinny!!

hottruckinmama 9 years, 5 months ago

If we outlaw big mac's only the fat people will have big mac's. 'cause their fat and their hungry and believe me they will get the chow somewhere.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

this is true and if they were charged to be there for being stupid enough to file a lawsuit then the bootcamp would be paid for.

rhd99 9 years, 5 months ago

Yes, restaurants should be shielded. Many have posted some nuitrition info. on their websites & elsewhere, & if people don't like what they see, THEN DON'T eat their STUFF!! Talk about Frivolous Lawsuits! People have choices, yet they fail to make the right ones! If people can't take care of THEMSELVES, then it's obvious big brother government won't either.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

What really gets me is when I'm in BK and see 350 lb person with 2 burgers, super extra large fries, a dessert and then orders a "diet coke" like that is sticking to the diet

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years, 5 months ago

Fast food shouldn't be banned too. Once again people just need to use common sense. If you eat fatty crap all the time you'll gain weight, its as simple as that. If you indulge occasionally you'll be okay, even with grease dripping down your arm to your elbow. I will admit I am overweight, I know what causes it and would never sue anyone for my bad decisions. But I also don't like being called a fatty or lardbutt!!!

rhd99 9 years, 5 months ago

yeah, happy, supersize ALWAYS helps a diet, (NOT):)

enochville 9 years, 5 months ago

Captain, or some other lawyer, please respond to my idea in my 9:21am post.

lunacydetector 9 years, 5 months ago

it's all about personal responsibility so restaurants should be shielded. all it will take is one lawyer to win a case and the flood gates will open.

the trial lawyers hold the key. isn't that sad?

nobody in this country wants to be responsible for their own actions. yes, fast food is fattening. no, the fast food company is not forcing you to eat their food, so why should they be held accountable if you are fat?

i ate at a red robin yesterday. their signature sandwich is: 1/4 lb hamburger with a slice of cheese, 4 strips of bacon, mayo, and a jumbo sized fried egg on top. that was the only meal i ate yesterday. i bet the meal was 2,000 + calories.

after all, it's my body to do with as I want (sound like a familiar liberal abortion excuse?). how can a liberal deny me the right to eat fast food? they already ticket me because someone else smoked a cigarette, or I lit off fireworks.

....it's coming - the banning of fast food through litigation. it's the liberal way of taking away our freedom.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Lunacy sometimes I think you're a lunatic but you make a valid arguement today! ;)

chevygal 9 years, 5 months ago

extreme_makeover...so u wish they served pineapple huh? haha so im guessin u read the whole late night pineapple discussion...

acg 9 years, 5 months ago

It's the liberals that are taking away your freedoms? Hmmm, that's interesting, Lunacy. Do you honestly pay attention to what's going on around you? Do you think it was liberals that voted to put a consitutional ban on gay marriage? What is Liberals who spearheaded Matt Blunt (R, MO) and his band of religious fanatics' efforts to control the sex industry in Missouri (beginning August 28th)? I'm tired of liberals being blamed for s**t going wrong. If I'm not mistaken currently the Republicans control the house and the senate and the White House and we have an ultra conservative Supreme Court. Now for the past 8 years Republicans and religious zealouts have had control of the reigns and we've lost more freedoms and rights than I can even count. Put down your Bible and open your eyes.

acg 9 years, 5 months ago

Oops typos. Oh well, who cares anymore.

Carmenilla 9 years, 5 months ago

He doesn't mind if homosexuals get their rights taken away, acg.

Fast food and obesity are a liberal conspiracy! Shhh....

Carmenilla 9 years, 5 months ago

Just read a hilarious news item. The headline was:

"Brazilian Bandits Pull Off Big Boob Job"

Apparently someone stole a vehicle with 400 silicone implants. Who needs all those boobs?

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Why would anyone steal silicone implants

Redneckgal 9 years, 5 months ago

Wonder if the boob job Dr. would give you a discount of you came in with your own implants? hum maybe I should go to Brazil!

Carmenilla 9 years, 5 months ago

Big boobs are overrated, redneckgal. Trust me, I haven't had eye contact in years ;-)

Redneckgal 9 years, 5 months ago

Well thank you e_m. But you know at least in my mind theres always room for improvement.

hottruckinmama 9 years, 5 months ago

Hey they found the little boy they had the amber alert on. Thank God

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

Lawyers, lawyers, lawyers! Lawyers encourage people to file frivolous law suits. Corporate lawyers do not want to take a chance that a jury will relate to the plaintiff so they team up with other lawyers to bring about tort reform. This country plays the lawyer game 24/7/365!

Can't our judges nip the frivolous suits in the bud? Don't our legislators have other things to do besides protect corporations from these types of suits?

IMHO, our legislators and judges are using more and more of their time trying to do each others work.

ms_canada 9 years, 5 months ago

Here is my 2 cents worth.Actually my 2 cents would only be worth 1 1/2 cents in the US. :o( Obese people can blame no one but themselves. So no to sueing any restaurant for those extra rolls in the midriff or on the butt. Can I ask a question? Do your MacD's not serve salad bowls now? Here in Canada all the fast fooders are now serving several choices of salad bowls. Oh, yes I just remembered, when I was driving through Spokane in May, I stopped for lunch at Wendy's and had a lovely Mediterranean Salad bowl. How about down your way, any salad bowls?

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

ms_c many restraunts have salad bowls down here and they are very good. Most even have wraps (sandwiches in tortillas to lower the carb count). Those of us that are conscience (sp?) about what we eat have many choices available. The fat people are just making the wrong choices or eating too much of the right ones.

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

ms_canada: We have salad bowls, salad bars, salad, salad, salad. Problem is some of the heaviest people in a restaurant will be at the salad bar, loading up their platter. I've come to the conclusion that salad bars are fattening and avoid them whenever possible :)

I don't think hard core fast fooders are drawn to salads. Very little grease, salt, etc. Also, who's kidding who? If people put a half pound of fried chicken on a bed of lettuce, cheese, dressing -- they have not made a healthy choice.

Always happy to get your 1.5 cents worth, ms_canada!!

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

also some of the pizza places even have "crustless" pizza to cut down on the carbs/calories

linux_chick 9 years, 5 months ago

There is some evidence that McDonald's in particular goes to some length to hide their nutritional content, as in "posting" nutritional information behind a standing poster for a Big Mac, so no one can see it.

Frivolous lawsuits give our legal process a bad name, no question.

But it's not as if Fast Food Restaurants (in particular McDonald's) is discouraging people from buying their food, or downplaying the unhealthiness of their food, either.

linux_chick 9 years, 5 months ago

Agreed, happy. Papa Murphy's "low carb" pizza is great and has 100 or so cals per slice!

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

McD's (here in town at 6th & wakarusa) also doesn't want you to know that a few years back a child died after being 'pricked' from a dirty needle someone had left in the ball pit after they used it to shoot up with crack or that when a toddler had an 'accident' (urinated) in the tunnels they refused to clean it because they were "busy".

Richard Heckler 9 years, 5 months ago

While I believe nutritional facts should be available for those who did not have parents to feed them plenty of fruits and veggies probaly should not have the right to sue UNLESS fast food cafe's (anything not cooked at home) are lying to the customers. Then they should be busted for fraud. Most cafe's buy from the the same suppliers unless it's local.

Carmenilla 9 years, 5 months ago

Fast Food Nation is an excellent read, whether you're a liberal or a conservative ;-)

Also, we need to talk about education and affordability. A lot of overweight children come from lower income families where nutrition is secondary to economic concerns. I wish everyone could afford organic and /or local produce and cook for their children everyday. Its not so realistic.

We can bash overweight and obese people all we want. Maybe many of us are more aware of the consequences of eating unhealthily than those we demonize. I'm not saying personal responsibility doesn't play into it. It does. But the sad truth is there are a lot of ignorant people out there handing their kids soda and cheesy poofs without a second thought to their well-being.

I also believe that poor nutrition is a factor in ADD and ADHD.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

In my opinion there should be no way for someone to sue over being fat. there are too many options for healthy alternatives. People that are fat due to medications or health problems (such as thyroid) are one thing, but people that are fat because of their own bad decisions should not get any sympothy. Your fat get off you ss and do something about it...talk a walk, clean your house, grab a water instead of a soda...do something except sit on your fat ss and b*tch "its someone elses fault"

lunacydetector 9 years, 5 months ago

acg, it is the liberals who remove our freedoms. so, if i am against gay marriage because i think it wrong, and because studies show gay couples raise sexually confused kids, and i believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman - i am anti-freedom? i see a pandora's box opening up if gays are allowed to marry (who is to say that tom, dick, and harry shouldn't marry too, if they love eachother?), or what about the marriage of suzy and stevie a brother/sister couple (who is to say it would be wrong if a brother and sister love eachother in a way most would find unnatural and weird), or, koko the gorilla who knows who how to talk (who's to say koko couldn't marry a human because she is an animal that can talk?).

it is the liberals who want to force their morals (read: immorals) on me, while at the same time take away my freedom.

liberal ideology takes away our freedoms: look at the roundabouts (prevents me from going from point A to point B in a timely manner plus they are freaking expensive for the taxpayers), or the anti-sprawl people who don't want me to have a backyard and would rather see me living in a congested apartment/condo in the inner city while i have to ride my bike to work (because they think we don't have enough land even though 95% of the united states is undeveloped -so they prevent me from building a house on the outskirts of town preventing me from living MY american dream).

the list can go on, and on, but i must make a living so i must stop for now.

removal of freedoms? it is the liberals who say they are for freedom, but they are NOT for freedom at all. it's another definition of "progressive" which in reality is regressive or oppressive. just as 'smart growth' means NO growth. all oxymorons. get it?

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Carmenilla you said "Also, we need to talk about education and affordability. A lot of overweight children come from lower income families where nutrition is secondary to economic concerns."

This is a non factor when you realize that the programs available to the low income families teach healthy eating. I know because when my kids were very little I went to many of these classes. They are available to everyone and are incouraged through SRS, WIC and Heartland shares, because buying healthy foods are cheaper than junk foods.

ms_canada 9 years, 5 months ago

OTTR - so true. I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and from attending meetings for a long time I have learned that a lot of over-weight people have no idea how to eat a healthy diet. They need help. That is why I like WW. They teach one how to eat right. But WW can't do everything, motivation and willpower are needed also. WW can help with the motivation to some extent and can give a lot of tips on menu planning for healthy eating. Ways to make veggies more appealing and tasty. Just a plug for WW :o)

linux_chick 9 years, 5 months ago

While I don't agree that people are obese simply because they don't care about their health, OTTR, you do bring up a good point about demand.

Restaurants have to answer to their consumers or they'll go out of business. It's really up to us then, to pressure restaurants to serve healthier and/or smaller portions.

This has already started. 5 years ago, nutritional information availability was slim to none. Now, most major chains have Weight Watchers items, nutritional info. online, low-carb options, etc.

I guess what I'm saying is, we (consumers) are on the right track. Keep it up :)

Carmenilla 9 years, 5 months ago

Happyone, I agree that the assistance programs have stepped up in their nutritional teaching. But buying healthy food is NOT necessarily cheaper. Especially when you factor in that a 2000 calorie meal at McD's costs, what, less than $4? And you don't have to cook? I just think that ignorance plays a big part in this equation. We take it for granted because we know better. Hopefully there will be a societal shift soon and healthy lifestyles will be the norm. We are a land of convienience and that kind of laziness and apathy breeds bad choices. Hot pockets, anyone?

wichita_reader 9 years, 5 months ago

YDP keep complaining about attorneys, attorneys, attorneys. Well guess what powers the attorneys, frivolous lawsuits, and high med mal insurance? Clients! We live in a litigious society, folks, like it or not. Many posters preach personal responsibility, and then blame trial lawyers. Laughable.

If human beings treated other human beings and their property the way they should be treated, with respect, honesty, and integrity, there wouldn't be a need for attorneys. Before you go ranting about trial lawyers, remember, there is no trial without clients, and the client makes all the decisions. Granted, he, she, or it may be pushed towards litigation by an unethical attorney/firm looking to pad his, her, or its pocket.

BTW, I'm not a trial lawyer, but I do know several.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

That too is true Carmenilla ignorance and laziness more so are the real problems.

having some watermelon, cantalope and grapes myself

Densmore 9 years, 5 months ago

Restaurants should not be shielded from obesity lawsuits.

Example No. 1: Burger Corporation sells big greasy hamburgers with the normal ingredients. Fatso files suit. Hopefully, Fatso loses in court and is laughed out of town.

Example No. 2: Burger Corporation's chemists create a substitute for one of the ingredients in their burgers. It just so happens that the substitute ingredient costs less than the original ingredient and produces the same flavor. However, the substitute ingredient adds 100% more fat calories and triples the amount of cholesteral. Burger Corporation does not lower their prices. Since the burgers cost less with the substitute ingredient, Burger Corporation makes more money. Fatso files suit. Fatso does not argue that Burger Corporation is soley responsible for his decline in health, but argues that Burger Corp was a contributing factor and moreover, increased its profits while making people fatter and less healthy than would have been the case if not for the substitute ingredient. Hopefully, Fatso wins.

Shield restaurants? No way. Let the legal system do its job. The mere possibility of a lawsuit is what discourages many businesses from malfeasance.

rhd99 9 years, 5 months ago

Spacy, sorry about the names people call you, but let's get something straight, please. I as a taxpayer WILL NOT pay for a legal bill for someone who does not exercise SOME sort of discipline when they go out to places like BK or McD's or KFC as a result of obesity illnesses or the like . That's their problem, NOT mine.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years, 5 months ago

Quit fat bashing already!!! Not all of us are slobby, low income hoodlums that crave a fry every moment we breathe. I am not saying that overweight people shouldn't take more care to be healthy but calling them lardbutts and fatties is inconsiderate. No one is perfect, I just wear my faults and emotional baggage on the outside!!

rhd99 9 years, 5 months ago

Look, Spacy, newsflash. I AM NOT PERFECT either! Feel better now?!

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years, 5 months ago

I agree rhd, as a taxpayer I don't want to pay others because they can't decide when to put down the french fries. I just am offended by the name calling. I know I need to make better decisions, I eat healthy food alot just not as much as I need to. I am repulsed by McDonalds after watching Supersize Me!!

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Spacy: If you are offended then you obviously don't fit in the classification of "Lazy Fat" you are aware and try to do something about it, correct? Please don't take it personally. We all have faults. I'm a short redhead with a nasty temper. But I know this and work on the things that I can change about myself. sometimes I'm successful sometimes not, that's life

linux_chick 9 years, 5 months ago

Supersize Me is good.

Have you seen that Spurlock is starting a documentary show, 30 Days, to glimpse into the daily lives of minimum-wage earners, prisoners, etc.?

Reality-tv with a consience... Imagine that.

Redneckgal 9 years, 5 months ago

Stacy..Its hard I know. Sometimes people can't even help it. I myself can eat like a field hand and never gain a ounce. My poor beautiful daughter looks at a french fry and gains 3 pounds. She's always battled a weight problem and I would glady change places with her if I could. She is so pretty and she tries so hard to keep her weight down. The ones I have a problem are the ones who don't try and then wanna sue someone.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years, 5 months ago

Hey maybe everytime someone sues McDonalds the court should make them watch Supersize Me. If that show doesn't repulse them then we know they are hopeless. I am dying to read Fast Food Nation I have heard it is an eye opener.

lilsuzy 9 years, 5 months ago

Eating fast food is a choice and I don't see how a business should or could be held accountable for weight gain, but then it seems one can sue over almost anything, winning is another story.

I would like to ask why are any of you eating at Mc D's etc in the first place?

We have plenty home owned and operated establishments where a burger tastes better, tacos are better and so on.

I know that there will always be people who eat at these chains, but for me it is easy not too. I would much rather support our local stores.

beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

Amen, acg

The extreme right is running everything, yet they continue to whine constantly (see lunacydetector - such venom, without joyous sarcasm). They won't be happy until this country is the Christian equivalent of the Taliban. Look at yesterday's question ... so many responses coming from the far right.

And to return to that question (had a thought, and everyone is in agreement today, so sorry for this breach in forum etiquette) but if a holy-roller pharmacist refused to fill the doctor's prescription for a morning after pill, and the woman had a child as a result, would the pharmacist be financially responsible for that child's care?

acg 9 years, 5 months ago

I've often wondered that myself, beatrice. I have a fanatically religious sister. She's always quoting scripture at me, and acting holier than thou. We had a huge argument recently about abortion and I asked her when people can start dropping off the unwanted crack babies to her house and she looked horrified that I would even suggest she'd dirty her hands with it. I love to pull her chain, though. Its folks like her, and lunacy that believe so wholeheartedly in their own line of BS that are so much fun to mess with. :)

Carmenilla 9 years, 5 months ago

OTTR, I commend your mother on being so self-sufficient. You have to realize that is not the norm. You should feel blessed that your mom was that together.

I think single mothers/fathers must feel the strain the most. I am always happy to have a big family and extended family to cook for. It makes it all the more worthwhile! When I was single and lived alone, cooking for one was not as appealing.

But OTTR your disdain for overweight people and the names that you call them shows that your mom could have taught you better manners.

beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

acg: I look forward to seeing more from you, so keep pulling those chains. And sorry to hear about your sister. I'll pray for her.

Another question: if the Fieldhouse continues to sell tickets to heavy people who take up more than their alloted portion of the bleecher, can I sue KU?

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

The bashing of overweight people is getting pretty harsh folks. Today's question was totally loaded. It doesn't matter if fast food restaurants should be shielded or not, they are legally shielded.

I can't believe that attacking people for being overweight will do anything but make the problem worse. This board is tolerant of the oddest things. Crying foul if someone is against gay marriage, foul if someone thinks the homeless population is a problem. Whining about all the social injustices done to their fellow man -- then POW, becomes so self-righteous and intolerant of people who probably have an eating disorder. Where's the tolerance for them?

The question was not "should people be overweight, and what should they to do correct it," yet that's where all the venom has been directed. Not even at people who actually file suits, just to overweight people in general.

bige1030 9 years, 5 months ago

I don't believe in shielding any entity from lawsuits - the right to sue must be protected as a fundamental right, lest we set a precedent that limits our right to sue so much that when we are actually damaged by something, we cannot sue.

However, I don't believe that an obesity-related lawsuit against a restaurant would be able to be won. It would be hard, if not impossible, to prove based on a preponderence of the evidence that one particular restaurant or a group of restaurants were negligently trying to make people fat.

Also, the obese people must prove that their obesity was not caused by their own negligence, i.e. that they made a reasonable effort to control their mass by exercising and eating reasonably. There is enough information out there for a court to find contributory negligence on the part of an obese person if he/she didn't exercise and always ordered and ate too much.

I think that a sufficient way to restrain obese people from suing fast-food restaurants is to require the loser of the lawsuit to pay for all reasonable legal bills, court costs, and the costs of collecting those. That ought to stop most of the proposed obesity lawsuits out there. Also, that will preserve the right to sue while acknowledging that a lawsuit can cause damage to entities.

enochville 9 years, 5 months ago

beatrice and acg: I, too, am very bothered by extremists that do not respect that other intelligent people may follow their conscience in a different direction than the path they want to legislate for everyone. There are people on this board that go too far to the right for my taste, but I try to tolerate their viewpoints. The same goes for those that lean too far to the left for me. I try to listen and remain teachable, yet I am not a push over either.

As soon as I finish graduate school and start making real money, I want to adopt and help people out who have unwanted children instead of having an abortion. I think that it will be better for the children to be raised by me than have never had the opportunity to live. In fact, I feel that it is better to be raised by abusive parents than be dead. Many will disagree with me on this point, but my opinion comes from my views on the purpose of life. People heal and recover from bad home experiences.

One separate note: I should have spoken up yesterday, but I join in with the others in saying, please don't joke about rape.

acg 9 years, 5 months ago

Who was joking about rape? I never mentioned rape in any of my posts, nor did beatrice from what I can read.

enochville 9 years, 5 months ago

I tried to distinguish that last comment as not applying to you by saying "one separate note". Obviously, that wasn't clear enough. That comment was not meant to apply to either of you.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

I agree enoch that is not a topic to joke about! I didn't like several of the comments on yesterdays board on that subject.

italianprincess 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm a BBW and I know I don't have an eating disorder. I can't stand McDonald's because all of their food is FRIED. The fries are to greasy and who knows how often they change the oil in that thing. McDonalds is nasty, and I would rather go out and to a restaurant that serves something better.

I may be over weight, but I'm not your average fat and lazy person. I eat good and get enough exercise. My weight has gone up and down all my life. Other family members in my family are thin, average and my oldest sister is like me. Both parents are average also, and family on my mom's side are both thin and heavy also.

I have seen people who are so over weight they waddle like ducks and to me thats really sad. I get around well, work with kids all day that keep me going, and work long hours. My friends even say I never seen to stop going until its time for bed.

People choose to be heavy,or maybe its some type of medical issue they have. I'm healthy as far as health goes even though I'm a BBW. Doc says things are okay, just keep going like you do and all is good. I'm glad both my boys are going to be tall, average and they didn't get my weight issue.

You can't sue a restaurant for what you put into your mouth......plain and simple. You know when you are full because you can't eat anymore without wanting to throw up or have a major stomach ache.

neopolss 9 years, 5 months ago

To redneck girl - I hate fake boobs. A good man can always tell, and if he can't, then you don't want him. It means he doesn't pay attention to details (and won't notice a new haircut). I'm not sure how this relates to todays topic, but I had to throw in my weight. I like them at any size, as long as they are all natural. =)

linux_chick - 30 days is a very good show. I've been watching it since it started last month. Hope you'll get a chance to view it too.

Original_Bob - I like your stats. In fact, I actually find the obesity trend funny. Since the number of fatsos now outnumbers the underweights, it changes the whole pecking order. It used to be the lone fat kid that got picked on. Now it is the lone skinny kid. I'd die laughing to see a movie that went along those lines (complete with huge porker kids on the playground).

beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

Same here. Rape isn't a worthy topic for jokes! I did mention rape yesterday in response to someone else and because I was dead serious. If morning after pills are only given to rape victims, as someone yesterday suggested, that likely would drive some scared young women to make false claims against innocent boys. (Don't mean to rehash yesterday's posts, but just want to clear this up. I might be sarcastic at times, but I'm not a total jerk.)

Now, for a worthy topic for jokes, can we discuss Karl Rove? (just kidding)

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Beatrice while on the subject I agree that would happen and didn't mean to sound as if the girls were the only ones in the wrong. The boys will be boys really irritates me. The boys pressure the girls to do such. But I still feel that the after pill shouldn't be used as b/c but as emergency b/c. There is a difference.

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

Thanks TOB! The fact that you only took issue with that little part makes me feel great. Sometimes others use a broad stroke and find nothing but fault. You are right, I should not have used the term "eating disorder" since it's definition is more narrow than I intended.

There are many reasons/explanations for obesity. It is easy to say "over eating, under exercising" but it is not that simple. I found a site that lists a variety of obesity factors, one in particular seemed to describe what I wanted to say regarding the people that are being harshly bashed by (self-described) normal posters.

The site is http://www.anred.com/obese.html - the particular factor I mentioned was:

Attempts to numb or escape emotional pain and distress. For various emotional reasons, including loneliness and depression, some people eat when their bodies do not need food.

I believe that best describes the largest percent of overweight people. At least of people I know who have ongoing battles with their weight. They are bright, loving, giving individuals and contribute greatly to our community and society in general.

Loneliness and depression take their toll on people in different ways. How can it be okay to beat up on them because they don't try to fight their demons the same way as a "normal" sized person? Normal outside does not equal normal inside.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Hey where's Mr_Joe maybe he has read another interesting article in Cosmo he could share ;)

acg 9 years, 5 months ago

Oh sorry guys I barely read up yesterday. Am pretty disgusted that folks were joking about rape. Tacky, truly tacky.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Ceallach to go along with what you're saying some of the most caring and nicest people as well as intelligent are heavy set. They really are!!

If you mistook what I said please know that I was referring to those obese people that either do nothing about it (don't watch what they eat/try to exercise) and blame everyone else for being that way(such as the ones wanting to sue).

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

TOB it was not condscending patronizing or stereotypical but what I have run across. Most "mean people" if you will, are the skinny ones that think "they're all that"

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

happyone, I don't think your post was condescending, patronizing or stereotypical. I wasn't complaining about your or any particular posters' individual remarks. I happen to think grown-ups shouldn't be so quick to develop the school yard mentality and pile on the fat kids just because a few bullies feel better about themselves after trashing someone else.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Just wanted to clarify my stance for you and anyone else. I agree that several on here tend to do just that.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

OTTR no actually I'm not over weight. I'm in perfect shape, as a matter of fact, and yes can be quite mean!!

beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

Okay, now I'm confused. I actually find myself in agreement with the last couple of posts from offtotheright. Have you gone all liberal on us ottr?

italianprincess 9 years, 5 months ago

HWY EB LNRAMO................What is normal anyway?

megorama 9 years, 5 months ago

Skinny people ARE mean, just like all fat people are lazy and worthless...

???? Your analogy doesn't work.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

Its cool TOB just trying to stir it up

Redneckgal 9 years, 5 months ago

Neoploss..thanks for the imput. Actually if I even had that kind of money to throw around I'd probably paint the house or pay down the credit card or something.

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

For many people there is a world beyond this board. A world in which we live and learn many things -- this board is usually just a pleasant diversion. Lately however, the board seems to have attracted a "worldless" online population. Daily questions are becoming battlegrounds where people take any opposing view as an insult, and return fire.

Some of you must remember "Reader Reaction" before it was removed. It would be a shame to have the same thing happen again. I for one would miss it. I learn a lot from posters' contributions and enjoy hearing about how the world is treating them and theirs.

happyone 9 years, 5 months ago

You crack me up Joe! (much like one I used to know)But yes I know what you mean. And the models are always 5' 10" or taller too! what about us short ones? Don't even get started on the big O or we're liable to hear about the rabbit again ;)

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

mister_joe: was Burt Reynolds in Cosmo or was it Playgirl?

Fangorn 9 years, 5 months ago

High volume of discussion today. The number of posts, that is. Not the tone.

If someone eats at a restaurant often enough that that one particular establishment has an appreciable effect on their weight, they should take the responsibility to find out what's in the food. Either that, or they should eat out less often. No one forces anyone to eat fettuccini alfredo for supper every night (or at McDonald's for 30 days, like Spurlock's piece of propaganda). People make their own choices about what they eat and how much. The only alternative is to let restaurants refuse service (or at least certain menu items) to patrons they believe may be obese. Can't you just see the scene:

"Yes, I'd like to order a quarter-pounder with cheese."

"Would you please step on the scale, sir. [checks scale read out] I'm sorry, sir, but you exceed our standard guidelines for that particular burger. Could I interest you in one of our healthy salads instead?"

"This is ridiculous! I'm calling my lawyer!"

And therein lies the problem. Shakespeare was right about the lawyers.

Fangorn 9 years, 5 months ago

btw, happyone, neopolss, I got to the Bargain Center up at 12th and Haskell today. Thanks for the tip yesterday. They've got all sorts of stuff up there!

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

Mister_Joe: That would be Playgirl, trust me. Although that was back in MPD it was Playgirl, somethings a girl doesn't forget . If memory serves, Jim Brown posed after Burt. However, the poses were more discreet than their female counterparts at Playboy.

ms_canada 9 years, 5 months ago

Just to add to what ceallach said about the forum, Reader Reaction. If you don't know about it, here is the low down. It got cancelled because it was getting too out of hand. All you posters who appreciate On The Street and enjoy posting here, please take note, LJW could pull this forum also if more care is not taken in the type of language and subject matter imposed by a few. Granted sometimes the questions posed by LJW are somewhat, hmmmm, what shall I say, ridiculous and repeated ad nauseum. But that is no excuse for getting rowdy. Oh Oh, I better watch out or I will be told to mind my own business again. I enjoy the repartee here and would not like to see the forum disappear. Would you?

tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 5 months ago

Do I smell a snitch? And no I don't mean carmenilla.

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

Mister_Joe: Guess what??? We're both right!! That rascal Reynolds posed for both magazined!!!!! Guess my sister could only afford to buy one :)

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

A snitch? Why? Was something removed?

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

ms_canada: never worry about someone from this board telling you to mind your own business -- that is laughable indeed -- minding other people's business is what this is all about :p

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

to whom it may concern: stay near your phone :)

tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 5 months ago

Okay heres the deal the way I see it. Not everyone wants to get on here and discuss goat cheese and tofu. This is a discussion board. People are going to have different opinions ideas and senses of humor. As long as no one is threatened or called obscene names get over it. Bet you 10 bucks this board is shut down with-in the week and I bet I know who will get it shut down.

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

tell_it_like_it_is: so you think one person is going to get this forum shut down? why do you think that? If ljw wants to get sticky about it the "discussion board" you mentioned is to discuss the On the Street topic of the day, not JoeBlowFromKoKoMo's topic of the day. They have certainly given this forum a lot of room to expand, but if things get too hostile too often, they will pull the plug and no one poster will be responsible.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years, 5 months ago

Oh...Beatrice...the only reason that some people say that "sarcasm is the lowest form of humor blah, blah, blah" is because they don't have a knack for it.

And you're right...heaven forbid I bring down the "high quality" discussions that are going on here...

I didn't read all of the posts but from what I could tell, the folks that are usually saying that people need to "show more empathy" or "put yourself in their shoes" are the same ones calling overweight people "fatso's", "fatties", "fat lazy slob", etc. What happened to all the "give peace a chance" people?!

tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 5 months ago

Um if I remember right you and ms canada have both gone off subject a couple of times. My point is thats all part of discussion at least the way I see it. If you don't agree with someone you either try to persude them to your point of view by discussion or you take them down a notch or two. Not everyone is going to agree 100% of the time or like each others personality or sense of humor all the time. Isn't that the hole point of a discussion board?

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

tell_it: I have been known to go off subject more than a couple of times :) Mister_Joe and I were just posting about when Burt Reynolds posed for magazines -- some would say that is a bit of subject, since Burt was neither obese nor sueing anyone. That is the type of leeway ljw has allowed us. Not agreeing on points of view and stating your reasons for believing as you do has not caused problems that I know about. However, depending on your definition, "take them down a notch or two," in the eyes of some contributors, can get pretty ugly. That is the type of interaction that caused the last forum to be shut down.

I have made more than one statement, thinking I was showing humor, only to learn the other poster did not see it that way at all, and was very offended by their interpretation of what I said. Since we cannot see and do not know each other, how we word something is very important. I would like to see On the Street remain open, with all posters feeling free to contribute without being attacked. A few should not, through some misguided sense of ownership, dominate the board to the extent that they feel comfortable being rude and obscene.

beatrice 9 years, 5 months ago

tell_it ... is correct. The point here is to discuss, argue, occassionally rant, and from time to time sling some mud at whatever or whomever it is you or I think might look better with a bit of mud on it/her/him. No harm, no foul. Although we do want to be careful of language, and not just call other people names. No sport in that.

And HKPhooey, do you think we should tell lawyer jokes tomorrow?

Ember 9 years, 5 months ago

There is a simple cure to this horse hockey about suing Brand X fast food chain because you've more than doubled your BMI (Body Mass Index) in the 20 years since you were in high school.

It's called Evidenciary Hearings. Basically, both sides present their evidence to the judge, who then makes a ruling over whether or not there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a trial.

In criminal cases, it's called a grand jury.

Unless the plaintiff can provide reasonable proof that fast food is the main reason that their BMI has skyrocketed, the case should be thrown out of court.

Since a lack of directed exercise is the lynch pin towards staying at least reasonably sized, fast food would never be solely to blame. Pure and simple solution.

Our lazy arse society, however, will never go for it, since it's easier to blame everyone else for their own shortcomings. Passing the Buck and Jumping to Conclusions have never and will never count as exercise, unless you are doing so in the state of Futility.

Redneckgal 9 years, 5 months ago

I think most of us have strong opinions and enjoy the thrill of the fight or we wouldn't be here. I don't see anything wrong with that (provided you don't get foul or go out of your way to hurt someones feelings). Discussion boards ain't for wussies. Thats my 2 cents.

Redneckgal 9 years, 5 months ago

Oh lets do jello. Creamed corn makes me think of..well...um..upchuck.

enochville 9 years, 5 months ago

Ember: thank you so much for your comment. That is what I was asking about in my 9:21am post.

Ceallach 9 years, 5 months ago

Now, Mister_Joe, you know he was just "nearly" naked :) Considering some of the arguments on this board lately, that might be a refreshing change. From what I read I believe the Cosmo shots were before the Playgirl bruhaha by several years. I had to check it out on Google to be sure because that WAS a while ago (a few of our fellow posters weren't even born yet :) and some of my pagan years are a bit blurry now (Thank God), but I remembered Burt. With all of the nudity and explicit material in every form of the media today those cheesy shots would seem silly to most young people, but they were quite the shockers back then.

All y'all have a good night.

italianprincess 9 years, 5 months ago

The 70's were a trip. I remember things like Sid and Marty Croft's Saturday morning shows..............Puff n Stuff, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. Crazy things like that back then makes you wonder what those guys were smoking.

I saw a Pinto car the other day and thought "WOW", I haven't seen one of those in years. Didn't they used to blow up if you got hit from behind?

People are always going to judge other people. Its been around for years now and will continue until we are dead and gone. Fat, thin, brown, white, black, blonde hair, ref hair........does it matter. Someone will always have something to say about someone else.

I still believe you can't sue a restaurant for what you have chosen to eat. They didn't put a gun to your head and make you eat up 1/2 the menu. Sue happy people will try to sue anyone for just about anything.

LawrenceMommy 9 years, 5 months ago

Happyone - That's been around since 1999. It didn't happen here, in Lawrence, or anywhere else. It's an urban legend. You can find it here...

http://www.snopes.com/horrors/parental/archer.htm

WOW 9 years ago

ok to sue mcdonalds is like sueing an amusement park because you got sick on one of their rides. people need to take actions for what they do. if you were a responsible person and you wanted to loose weight you wouldnt even go to fast food restaurants like McDonaldsin the first place. Why should the food industry be treated like the drug or the tobacco or alcohol industries? food isnt technically addictive! what would closing fast food places down do? obese ppl can still buy fatty food at any grociery store, most people eat their meals at home anywaz. Any person who has common sense knows that all fast food places aren't the healthiest. Why would you blame obesity on Fast food in the first place, they could be gettin obese from stayin at home eatin other junk food. ITs not the fast food resteraunts fault its the obese persons fault, they could have exercized if they wanted to. Another reason for bein obese is because lack of exercise it isnt always about the food you eat

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