Document Detail

Fat and the law: who should take the blame?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15754554     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The incidence of obesity in both adults and children is rising at a rapid rate in most developed countries, including in Australia. Some obese people are seeking to place the blame for their condition on the fast-food industry, as demonstrated by the recent litigation in the United States brought by two obese plaintiffs against McDonald's. This litigation was unsuccessful, and on existing Australian negligence principles any similar litigation commenced here is likely to suffer the same fate. Principles of personal responsibility, autonomy and free will should prevail to deny a negligence claim. The risk of obesity and concomitant health problems from eating fast food to excess is an obvious risk which the plaintiff should not have ignored and which he or she has voluntarily assumed. It is for the Australian Government, not the courts, to regulate the behaviour of the fast-food industry. The government should take action by requiring all major fast-food chains to label their products with nutritional information, and by imposing restrictions on the advertising of food to children.
Mirko Bagaric; Sharon Erbacher
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Legal Cases    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of law and medicine     Volume:  12     ISSN:  1320-159X     ISO Abbreviation:  J Law Med     Publication Date:  2005 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-03-09     Completed Date:  2005-04-18     Revised Date:  2014-03-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9431853     Medline TA:  J Law Med     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  323-39     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Australia / epidemiology
Liability, Legal*
Obesity* / complications,  epidemiology
Restaurants / legislation & jurisprudence*
United States / epidemiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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