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Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations

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Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations

Unhealthy Lunches

Over the past few decades, the American population has developed a reputation of being lazy and obese. It’s an ignorant generalization and stereotype, but is it possible that this has some truth? It may come down to an issue of the children diet and exercise routine. School lunches are usually unhealthy because the prices need to be affordable for families. This topic is very popular in the media more frequently and raising awareness could be a key to recovery. Also, the government should step up and play a bigger part in providing healthier options for schools, especially in low income areas. Another major problem is the example that some parents set. As a parent, one brings another life into the world and it’s their responsibility to guide the child to be successful and live a healthy life. If the parent shows poor eating habits and a lack of self discipline, the child will usually take on the same lifestyle. This will leave the children to a higher risk of disease and mental issues such as low self-esteem or a poor body image.

The famous fast food restaurant McDonalds have been a lawsuit target for obese citizens for their health issues and weight problems. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that in 2013, anybody can present a good case in most disputes. Georg and Mary could hire a good lawyer to enforce a legal angle. George and Mary could argue that Drive-In Don’s fast food restaurant did not provide a healthy food option, nor did they give any nutrition details on their foods. They also could present a good case against the school for the same reasons. It’s the schools responsibility to take care of the child while the child is in their facility. If the school fails to provide a healthy food alterative, the blame could fall into their laps just as easily as Dons restaurant. Ethically, this doesn’t seem like a fair alternative, but the school should have a plan to care and provide for these students. After a lawsuit like this, the school could fall into similar cases and catch a bad reputation not based around academics. Most importantly, it forms a bad relationship between the school and the families. Some would argue that it’s the parent’s responsibility to provide healthy lunches for their kids. Also, that the parent would take more of a look and monitor their children better. Whether it’s violent video games, the lack of exercise, or poor diet options, the parent’s shouldn’t immediately attack the companies that are providing these products. Someone who may be a fit and active person may enjoy an occasional hamburger from McDonalds or Don’s restaurant. One thing that these restaurants can do is provide as much information and nutritional facts about their products. Another thing they could do is provide a few healthy alternatives.

If the restaurant and school provide nutrition facts, that could be a strong legal defense to the case. It may be a safe prediction to say that the case will be thrown out because “people don't go to sleep thin and wake up obese”. (Condon) A good point that Don’s restaurant did not force this food down the Randall’s throat, but provided an option that can be managed when eaten in moderation. Also, that Randall would not run the risk of diabetes if he was more active and exercised regularly.

The FTC or Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services can help plaintiffs in a way. They can monitor the advertising of some food companies to influence their target audiences. Perhaps advertising a “happy meal” with a toy is not a good marketing campaign that would help the defendant. Working with these companies could teach them on how to build a relationship with these families and work on building a good nutritional foundation. Creating programs and advertising healthier options can provide more change than just letting the issue fall under the carpet. In the end, this would be bringing the two parties together rather then pushing them apart and causing an increase of legal cases due to childhood obesity. The path is set to provide a healthy, smart solution to the problem and not a temporary fix.

Work Cited:

➢ Deborah Condon. (Nov. 22, 2002). McDonald’s Sued by Obese Children. Irish Health. Retrieved May 8, 2013 from http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=4431

➢ Federal Trade Commission. (May 2, 2006). FTC, HHS Release Report on Food Marketing and Childhood Obesity. Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved May 8, 2013 from http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/05/childhoodobesity.shtm

➢ Lydia Parnes. (July 18, 2007). Weighing In: A Check-Up on Marketing, Self-Regulation, & Childhood Obesity. Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved May 8, 2013 from http://www.ftc.gov/speeches/parnes/070718obesity.pdf

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