McDonald’s has always been associated with the American way of life but it has also become a target of various accusations as it is believed that the food sold there is unhealthy. Numerous people sued the company and tried to prove that McDonald’s was the reason of their poor health conditions, obesity and some kind of addiction. For instance, Pelman v. McDonald’s is one of examples of such concerns.
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Parents of a teenager who suffered from obesity tried to prove that McDonald’s was responsible for the girl’s health condition (Wald, 2003). However, it was decided that McDonalds could be only partially responsible for health problems as the food bought from the famous chain constituted only the fifth part of the girls’ diet.
Clearly, there are other examples of cases against the fast food chain and the question whether McDonald’s and other fast food chains have to be judged negligent for providing harmful food, failing to inform consumers about hazards and deceptive advertising seems to be unanswered. However, there is an answer to the question.
Admittedly, fast food has been a topic of a heated debate for a while and it has been acknowledged that it can have a harmful impact on people’s health if it is the basis of their diet and if there is lack of exercise.
There was time when the risks were not researched well enough and people did not realize that there can be detrimental outcomes. However, now numerous films and TV programs have been made and people are aware of the hazards. More so, the chains are forced to change their packaging and advertising, and even contents of their products removing some elements.
In the 2010s, consumers have become more attentive and companies have become more responsible. Hartman and DesJardins (2007) note that consumers are willing to buy from responsible companies. At the same time, companies are trying to show their readiness to respond to this and change their approach.
For instance, Kraft Foods changed their advertising and do not target at children from 6 to 11 (Food fight, 2005, para. 3). Officials have also developed regulations concerning diets at schools, norms of advertising and so on.
Therefore, at present, it is impossible to state that fast food chains are negligent and fail to inform people about possible hazards. These arguments are no longer timely. Now people are responsible for their lifestyles and diets and it is their right to choose. Clearly, McDonald’s may change their message and add such concepts as exercise and healthy eating.
Fast food chains should also stop targeting at children and many chains have already done that (Food fight, 2005, para. 3). Fast food chains have changed their menus and added a variety of healthier products. Therefore, McDonald’s and other companies are offering products and it is each person’s responsibility to make the best choice for him/her.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that fast food chains have been in the spotlight as they were accused of selling harmful products without informing people. Nonetheless, hamburgers cannot be seen as the evil that destroys people’s lives since they can be only a small part of the diet. Some people try to put the entire responsibility on others (fast food chains, in this case).
However, it is impossible to ban products even though excessive consumption of them can lead to serious health issues. It is better to teach people and raise awareness about hazards and the problem will cease to exist as there will not be demand and there will be no supply of these products.
Food fight: Obesity raises difficult marketing questions. (2005). Web.
Hartman, L., & DesJardins, J. (2007). Business ethics: Decision-making for personal integrity & social responsibility. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Wald, J. (2003). McDonald’s obesity suit tossed. Web.