Let’s face it, we’re too damn fat, and this is America, so someone should be sued! Professor Marion Nestle at New York University provided the target: “The function of the food industry is to get people to eat more, not less. It’s not fair.”
It’s Big Chocolate, in short, no different than Big Tobacco. Either way, as professor Nestle sees it, it’s not our fault: We’re the dumb pawns, somebody’s got deep pockets, and it’s time to call in the lawyers. “There are a lot of people who benefit from people being fat and sick, and the whole setup is designed to make people eat more,” says Nestle. “The response to the food industry should be very similar to what happened with the tobacco companies.”
George Washington University Law School professor John Banzhaf told FOX News much the same thing: “As we’re getting more and more figures saying just how dangerous obesity is, people are wondering if tactics used against the tobacco industry very successfully and other problems such as guns less successfully could be used against the problem of obesity.”
At ABC News, reporter Geraldine Sealey seemed to be recommending some affirmative action by the government when it comes to filling the slots in America’s vending machines: “So we’re fat – 61 percent of us. Potential regulations could include requiring’equal time’ for junk food and healthy food in vending machines.”
Tom Farley at the Tulane University Law School went further, suggesting that we should just demonize the machines: “I want to get to the point where people are in the hallway and see a vending machine and say, ‘That’s bad, that shouldn’t be there,’ in the same way as if they saw a cigarette vending machine.”
In his First Inaugural Address, Thomas Jefferson put forth a vision of a people “free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.” A lot has changed in the past two centuries.