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The ethical issue
In general, ethics refers to the accepted virtues or norms that are moral and acceptable as good in a particular society. Ethics are thus aimed at promoting positive actions and general respect to humanity and its surroundings.
In this case, the ethical issue is promotion of obesity as a result of the ever growing fast food industries. Obesity is as a result of consumption of too much fat that generally leads to increased fat level in the human body, its consequences are fatal and most victims suffer from cardiovascular problems and other heart associated complications.
Application of ethical principal
Ethical principles are generally guidelines or rather viewpoints which are essential in good or accepted decision making process in a society.
Ethical principles are closely associated with ethical theories since they intertwine to create sound ethical analysis. In this case, the ethical principle or rule that is evident is the principle of least harm. This principle aims at mitigating or completely eliminating human actions that can cause harm to people. In this situation, the fast food industry ought to be sensitive to the consequences of using trans fats in their preparation of fast food products.
How the ethical principal applies to the facts
The principle of least harm in ethics is closely associated with the fast food industry; this is mainly because of the basic fact that fast food increases chances of obesity to its consumers. In Europe and the U.S. one of the major crises in the health segment is the increase of fast food consumption which leads to obesity and other fat related complications such as cardiovascular disease.
It is unethical for the fast food industry to continue with their business without considering the consequence of their actions to their consumers. The use of trans fat cooking oil in the industry is one of the major cause of obesity.
Most American children are already addicted to consumption of fast foods; their advertisement is usually targeted to young children who have less knowledge on the consequences of such foods. In essence, children and teens are considered one of the major independent consumer segments of the fast food industry.
According to the current statistics, more and more advertisements are placed strategic in order to capture the attention of young children and teens. This is unethical of the fast food industry; the principle of least harm is naturally violated by such unethical actions of the fast food industries. This is mainly because of the consequences of these foods consumptions. It is the responsibility of every industry in the country to closely consider the consequences of their actions to the environment and humanity.
The unethical behaviors of the fast food industry which has led to increased cases of obesity cannot be over-emphasized. If the rule of least harm had been applied, there could have been less if no cases of obesity in the country as currently witnessed. It is therefore the duty of fast food industry to incorporate the principle least harm in order to reduce cases of obesity and other fat related complications.
The presented question in this case is the legal responsibility of the fast food industry to the increased obesity especially in the U.S. It has been clearly discussed that the low regard to ethical principles and particularly the principle of least harm has made the fast food industry one of the major contributors of health problems in Europe and the United States. The ignorance and less regards to these ethical concerns should be rectified in order to improve health standards through appreciation of ethics and its underlying principles.