Healthwatch: Fast and Fat?

By: Christy Feig
By: Christy Feig

Two thirds of Americans are overweight, according to the U.S. government, but the U. S Chamber of Commerce says the fast food industry isn't to blame and the problem won't be resolved with lawsuits.

"Americans will not find the solutions to obesity in the courtroom but in making wise choices to eat smaller portions and healthier foods wherever they go," said Lisa Rickard of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

On the heels of billion dollar judgments against the tobacco companies, some consumers and attorneys are now turning on the fast food industry. Critics say the fast food industry is at least partly responsible.

"The portion sizes are huge. They very aggressively market unhealthy foods to children," said Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Their practices and products are very big contributors to obesity."

The Chamber says it's up to Americans to choose a healthy diet.

"Obesity is a bad thing. A meal, a diet that is too heavy in salts and fats is likely a bad thing. But this is up to Americans to decide," said Todd Buchholz, author of the book, "Burgers, Fries and Lawsuits."

But critics say Americans don't have the information to make educated decisions.

"If they really want to do something about obesity why not just tell the customers how many calories are in a Big Mac, right on the menu board, so that people can make their own choices?" said Wootan.

In the meantime, Kraft and McDonald's say they are making changes to their food, to give consumers healthier options.


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