“I don’t want any more government interference than the next guy, but I
believe that the precedent has already been set for successful government
intervention on behalf of improving our health,” writes Hanover College
Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Professor Bryant Stamford in the
first of a two-part article comparing obesity prevention tactics to federal
curbs on tobacco advertising. Acknowledging the public outcry against
fast-food incentive bans, Stamford suggests that the government would
not set “a dangerous precedent” insofar as it has already made a concerted
effort to stymie youth tobacco use with product warnings and advertisement
restrictions. Without these measures, he claims, “the cigarette industry
would continue to run roughshod over the American public with the specific
purpose of capturing us when we are young, addicting us and ensuring that
the majority of the addicted will be customers for life.”

For Stamford, the parallels between the tobacco and fast food industries
are “unmistakable,” with both allegedly seeking to “attract children and take
firm hold of them.” He argues that government thus has the responsibility
to protect young diners who are not able “to make the judgment that foods
loaded with fat and sugar are bad for them, especially if they taste good.”

“The bottom line is maybe the government shouldn’t legislate what we eat as
adults, even if it’s obvious that it is destroying our health,” concludes Stamford.
“However, I believe we need to do whatever it takes to protect our children
and influence them in the right way.”

About The Author


For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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