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The US House of Representatives this week is expected to approve legislation that will prevent Americans from suing fast food companies for making them obese or overweight.

While the courts thus far seem to have turned away most attempts to hold fast food chains responsible for the nation's obesity problem - roughly two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight as are about 15 percent of US children and adolescents - there are concerns that pro-litigation advocates will try to use the same tactics that worked against tobacco companies.

Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., said that the nation has "got to get away from this new culture where people always try to play the victim and blame others for their problems." Keller added, "Litigation against the food industry is not going to make a single individual any skinnier. It will only make the trial attorneys' bank accounts fatter."

A similar bill is making its way through the Senate.

Objections to the legislation hinge on the notion that the courts need to be allowed to deal with these issues, rather than preventing these court cases to be heard.
KC's View:
We are conflicted. On the one hand, we hate to see frivolous lawsuits clogging up the system, hate to see the notion of personal responsibility dismissed as "old-world thinking." On the other hand, why shouldn't the courts be making these decisions rather than legislators?