McDonald’s Attorneys Ask Federal Judge To Dismiss Obesity Lawsuit
Attorneys for fast-food chain McDonald's yesterday asked a judge in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges the company's products have led to a "national epidemic of obese children," the AP/Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. Attorney Samuel Hirsch filed the lawsuit on behalf of several New York City children who allegedly have suffered health problems, such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension, as a result of McDonald's products. Hirsch called the high fat, sugar and cholesterol content in McDonald's products "a very insipid, toxic kind of thing," adding that McDonald's misled consumers about the nutritional content of the company's products (Barrett, AP/Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 11/20). He said, "McDonald's has the information that ... a child consuming this food more than one time per week may result in a child developing juvenile diabetes" (Hurtado, Long Island Newsday, 11/20). Hirsch also said that the company targeted children with advertisements. He added, "Young individuals are not in a position to make a choice after the onslaught of advertising and promotions" (Santora, New York Times, 11/21). Attorneys for McDonald's called the lawsuit "frivolous" and said the plaintiffs could not prove that the company's products caused their health problems, the AP/Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports (AP/Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 11/20). "Every responsible person understands what is in products such as hamburgers and fries, as well as the consequences to one's waistline, and potentially to one's health, of excessively eating those foods over a prolonged period of time," they said. U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet has not yet ruled on the motion (New York Times, 11/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.