By: Jan Chait
“Nobody is forced to eat at McDonald’s,” a federal judge said as he threw out a class-action lawsuit that blamed McDonald’s food for causing obesity, diabetes and other health problems in children.
“If a person knows or should know that eating copious amounts of supersized McDonald’s products is unhealthy and may result in weight gain, it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses,” wrote U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet in his January 22, 2003, decision dismissing the suit.
The people who brought the lawsuit failed to show that Big Macs, fries, apple pies and other foods available at McDonald’s “involve a danger that is not within the common knowledge of consumers,” Sweet added.
Attorney Samuel Hirsch, who brought the suit against McDonald’s, as well as similar lawsuits earlier, said that he plans to amend and refile the case. He argues that although people may know generally that the bill of fare at fast-food restaurants is not healthy overall, they don’t realize just how bad the foods can be.