In what must be a first, Brazilian Judge Joao Ghisleni Filho ruled that a former franchise manager must be paid $17,500.00 because he gained 65 pounds while working for McDonalds Restaurant for over 12 years. The unnamed employee claimed he had to sample food each day to meet quality standards and to appease “mystery clients” that McDonalds hired to secretly inspect the restaurant. The unidentified man’s biggest gripe — McDonalds had the audacity to offer free lunches to employees.
U.S. consumers spend about $150 billion dollars on fast food that is marketed to children and to lower income adults. McDonalds claims it presents healthy choices along with its high fat-high sodium offerings. In 2003, a New York family sued the hamburger giant alleging that, by manipulating the taste of food, fat and sugar content, and its aggressive marketing to children mislead consumers about the nutritional value of its food and led directly to their daughter’s obesity. A federal judge threw the suit out of court, but the Industry responded with a so-called “Cheeseburger Bill” to ban such suits in the future. The Bill passed the House in 2005 but stalled in the Senate.
Over one half of all American adults are considered obese, and hundreds of thousands of deaths are attributed to obesity. Will “Big Fat” become the next “Big” like “Big Tobacco” and “Big Oil.” If we’re looking in Brazil, the answer might be just wait and see.
–Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
Source: Yahoo News