From The New York Times:
A Brazilian court ruled this week that McDonald’s must pay a former franchise manager $17,500 because he gained 65 pounds (30 kilograms) while working there for a dozen years. The 32-year-old man said he felt forced to sample the food each day to ensure quality standards remained high . . .The man also said the company offered free lunches to employees, adding to his caloric intake while on the job.
This is sheer idiocy. McDonald’s does not make people fat. I lost 10 pounds while working at McDonalds for a summer. McDonald’s food is not any fattier than the food served by many other restaurants. The foie gras served in fancy restaurants is much fattier than hamburgers. Quiche Lorraine is also fattier than a hamburger. Food snobs may not like proletarian food like hamburgers, but then, I am indifferent to foie gras, which tastes a lot like canned dog food to me. Should I be able to keep food snobs from eating foie gras, just because it’s very fatty? (Ironically enough, my wife is French, so I’ve been exposed to foie gras a lot.)
There is now a big movement afoot to tax fast food in the pursuit of mythical public health benefits. The government is also moving to restrict the salt content of food, which could lead to increased obesity rates, more heart attacks, and “higher death rates among some individuals,” and make it harder to market low-fat foods.