You can't blame McDonald's. This Tuesday, a federal judge in Manhattan dismissed a lawsuit that would have made the fast food giant liable for obesity and poor health in teenage customers. The suit accused McDonald's of deceiving its customers by misrepresenting the amount of fat, sugar, salt and cholesterol in its meals. The suit was dismissed on the grounds that McDonald's did not conceal information about its ingredients. The underlying principle: Consumers know that fast food is bad for health.
"My attitude toward McDonald's is one of criticism," admits Joseph Sanders, Ph.D. ABPP, director of Health Enhancement Programs in Alexandria, Virginia. From a health standpoint, Sanders does not appreciate the restaurant's food offerings. No doubt all fast food establishments should serve healthy fare, because as Sanders points out: "Kids do what other kids do: 'If my crowd goes to McDonald's and has hamburgers then that is what I have to do.'"