The paper "Whether It Is Ethical or Even Effective to Sue Fast Food Industry or Individual Companies? " is an excellent example of an essay on business. The consequences of consuming high fat, high sugar and additive food (Gumbel) supplied by fast-food chains like McDonald’s is evident in the movie Super Size Me (Spurlock). The food culture of America is highly influenced by the advertisements of fast food chains which is responsible for the rise in the rate obesity among people and the resultant health cost and the reduction in the life span. It is high time the government regulates the norms that require the fast-food restaurants to disclose the content of all the items in the menu to guide the consumer to make a choice. Since the government has not made vital regulations to control the fast-food chains and the consumers continue to fall prey to the advertisements that woo them litigation is the only method to reduce the obesity and related ill effects of Americans who are addicted to the food served by fast-food restaurants (Gumbel).
It may be argued that it is ethical to sue the fast-food restaurants that serve unhealthy and high-calorie food to the public since it is in the interest of the American people’s health and longevity.
The Surgeon General of the United States has issued a report which states that 61 percent of Americans are obese which is higher than the 1990 statistics at 55 percent and the late 1970 statistics at 46 percent. Annually, obesity leads to a medical bill of $117 billion and causes three lakh premature deaths. The fast-food companies and their associations are solely liable for the increase in obesity, health problems and early deaths due to amount of exorbitant amounts of sugar, fat and chemical additives used in the food. A detailed analysis will reveal the amount of liability to be bestowed on fast food restaurants, packagers, agribusiness giants and marketers.
Government action and regulation is the only means to regulate food companies that sell unhealthy food. The government is stuck with powerful corporate lobbies. Therefore, the obsession of the public towards fast food in a nation like America requires litigation to effect a social change.
The litigation of fast food companies can be avoided if the government force these companies to disclose the amount of calorie and fat, oust fast food from school, add healthy menu in vending machines and gives more options to exercise. The litigation of fast food companies is not an easy task because the food consumed by a customer does not have a direct effect to cause a heart attack or any such chronic condition. Moreover, one company cannot be sued because consumers do not stick to a single brand.
Therefore, fast food companies can be sued for misrepresentation and nondisclosure of fat contents or any other dangerous and damage causing ingredients. Another point to sue the fast-food companies is to accuse them of misleading and false health claims. Fast food companies can also be held responsible for failure or omission to warn customers about possible health risks.
Finally, the whole fast food industry comprising brands like McDonald should be held responsible for causing sclerotic arteries, diabetes, strokes and heart attacks. These companies can also be sued for fostering fast food addiction to children through marketing. Fast-food chains have already made their way into cash strapped schools and even hospitals. The abundance of fast-food restaurants and their claim that fast food is cheap attracts consumers to shift to this ready-made food from mass production units (Gumbel).
The health hazards of junk food or rather fast food are clearly depicted in the movie Super Size Me wherein the protagonist played by Morgan Spurlock ventures into a thirty-day spree of consuming all items in the McDonald’s menu. The movie also reveals the vulnerability of an average American to gain body mass, become obese, incur sexual dysfunction, experience mood swings and also incur irreparable damage to the liver. The film also indicates the poor nutritional value of fast food prepared solely for the profit motto of the manufacturers. The consumption of fast food also results in a day to day increase in the bodyweight of the consumer (Spurlock).
It may be concluded that there are explicit reasons to litigate food chain companies for marketing and selling unhealthy food in the disguise of cheap food. The increase in the rate of obesity, health costs and premature deaths stands testimony to the fact. In addition to real-life examples, the experiment with McDonald food products in the movie Super Size Me gives in-depth details into the ill effects of consuming fast food regularly. Therefore, it is ethical and effective to sue individual fast-food companies or the industry as a whole for poor nutrition, misrepresentation, and non-disclosure of contents and the resultant health hazards caused by fast food.