An Evaluation of the Legal Responses to America's Obesity Epidemic

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An Evaluation of the Legal Responses to America's Obesity Epidemic

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Title: An Evaluation of the Legal Responses to America's Obesity Epidemic
Author: Westover, Melanie
Citation: An Evaluation of the Legal Responses to America's Obesity Epidemic (2004 Third Year Paper)
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Abstract: This paper will examine the recent legal action surrounding one of America's major public health problems; obesity. The discussion begins with a quick presentation of information regarding our nation's obesity epidemic. The discussion will then turn to the recent obesity litigation and proposed legislation. The paper will analyze the strength and shortcomings of the Pelman plaintiffs & arguments against the McDonald's Corporation. Further, the paper will analyze the court's responses to these arguments in an attempt to hypothesize on future litigation. The paper will then turn its focus to proposed bill H.R. 339, The Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, which prohibits obesity lawsuits against members of the food industry. The discussion will analyze the political arguments surrounding obesity and obesity lawsuits. Finally, the discussion will suggest that analysis of the Pelman opinions and Congressional testimony on H.R. 339 indicate that obesity lawsuits, if allowed to continue, could be developed to the point of creating a legal response similar to that which accompanied tobacco litigation.
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Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:8965581

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