Individual responsibility in this country seems to be as scarce as a fat- free double cheeseburger. Did the CEO of McDonald’s abduct young girls and force an intravenous line of fry grease? The article (“Professor sues McDonald’s, Sept. 16, p. 11) does not mention the parents taking any blame at all. If they drove their children to McDonald’s and paid for their daughters’ food, then aren’t they just as responsible as the company for the girls’ obesity? They obviously do not care about their children enough to say “no” when the kids want fattening foods, so they should be named in the lawsuit.
(Law professor John) Banzhaf contends McDonald’s birthday parties, which include games and prizes along with hamburgers and fries, are also to blame because the girls have to eat greasy food if they want to be accepted into a particular social ring. Is this now a form of hazing?
Will fat children at McDonald’s birthday parties be on the next “60 Minutes” along with fraternity hazing and binge drinking? The typical eight-year-old’s birthday includes birthday cake, ice cream and a whole assortment of fattening snack foods. Will parents soon be suing other parents for not serving vegetable platters and low-fat menu options at little Bobby Newton’s intergalactic space invader party?
Ultimately, we as consumers hold just as much responsibility as the companies whose products we consume. It is no secret that McDonald’s is fattening. Even when I was eight, this was a well-known fact to me. Maybe professor Banzhaf’s next great move will be a class action lawsuit against every parent that has ever let his or her child have fast food. I would not be surprised.
This article appeared in the September 19, 2002 issue of the Hatchet.