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Rants and Raves
By Cheryl Thai

Last month, a man filed a class-action lawsuit against the nation's four largest fast food restaurant chains, claiming decades of fast food consumption had caused him serious health problems. The plaintiff specifically targeted the chains' advertising message, claiming that its "100% Beef" claim and omitted information about high fat content, had caused him to believe that fast food was nutritional.

Currently, nutritional in-formation is posted within fast food establishments. If, in addition to nutritional information, health warnings were posted at fast food restaurants, would Ame-ricans eat less fast food?

This question is raised with the assumption that Americans are ignorant about nutritional matters and would otherwise avoid junk food establishments if they knew what they were eating.

Yet, is blaming fast food restaurants and food manufacturers addressing the heart of the obesity problem? And are lawsuits practical solutions to the nation's health problem?

Fast food consumption is an integral has become part of American culture and very much a lifestyle issue. To many consumers, fast food provides practical and emotional values- regardless of its nutritional values.

In order to combat poor nutrition, it is more constructive to try to understand people's eating habits and to encourage higher nutrition standards.

Obesity is a serious problem deserving the nation's full attention. Fast food chains are the symptom, not the problem.