Freedom to eat

If you eat lousy food and get fat, it’s your fault. That’s the gist of a bill introduced at the Legislature today that puts the responsibility on you — and only you — for being overweight.

The bill, HF264, was filed by a group of House Republicans, and aims to suppress any action against others for the health of the eating public. It reads:


A producer, grower, manufacturer, packer, distributor, carrier, holder, marketer, or seller of a food or nonalcoholic beverage intended for human consumption, or an association of one or more of such entities, must not be subject to civil liability based on any individual’s or group of individuals’ purchase or consumption of food or nonalcoholic beverages in cases where liability arises from weight gain, obesity, or a health condition associated with weight gain or obesity and resulting from the individual’s or group of individuals’ long-term purchase or consumption of a food or nonalcoholic beverage.

The bill is called the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act.

It would still allow lawsuits based on marketing — and other areas — if a state or federal law is broken and the weight gain is the result of that marketing or other area.

  • Matt

    I feel like we shouldn’t need a bill for something as common sense as “what you put in your mouth is your own choice”. Apparently there is a need though, whether it be just to remind people to take responsibility for their actions or to protect the food distribution industry.

    If passing this bill means that McDonald’s will have the McRib more often I’m all for this.

  • JackU

    If I understand the bill’s language (and IANAL) then basically you’ll only be able to sue if the product is an outright fraud. Basically if somebody starts selling a competitor to the “Slim Fast” shake that claims it will help you loose weight or maintain your weight and then you gain 50lbs while using it you’ll be able to sue.

    It seems to me that this is more of a “guide to judges” to allow them to have a more formal definition of what constitutes a “frivolous” lawsuit in this area.

  • GregS

    Thank god some sanity still exists – but for how long?

  • Shane

    Frivolous lawsuits or frivolous legislation? This looks like one of those “red meat” issues in so far as it stirs up an easily-agitated base with a pro-business “common sense” issue that really hasn’t much depth. Isn’t this something that the courts sort out in the application of case law?

  • http://norwegianity.wordpress.com Mark Gisleson

    Just checking, but aren’t these the same people who always fight to keep restaurants from having to list ingredients and calories on their menus?

  • Eric Ferguson

    The First Amendment guarantees the petition for the redress of grievances. Any restrictions on the ability to sue violates this right. It should be sufficient to penalize plaintiffs who bring frivolous lawsuits for the harm they cause defendants and the courts. Is this another case where conservatives believe “constitutional” means “whatever I agree with”?