Fast food is not addictive. We can all agree on that, right? We can all do without french fries. Sure, I like french fries, but I don’t have to have them. I can quit any time I want. Silly to think they’re addictive. But there is no silliness so silly that somebody seeking to file a lawsuit can’t find scientific support for it. Or at least pretend to find scientific support.
Legal beagle John Banzhaf, one of the guys who’s been suing the tobacco industry, now wants to sue fast food restaurants for addicting us to their menus. To make his case he’s citing studies that allegedly prove this addiction is happening. For example, one that considers the effects of a high-fat diet on rats. But the study in question doesn’t really prove what he wants it to prove. One of the co-authors, Matthew Hill, says it only shows that a high-fat diet alters rat brain chemistry. The study doesn’t even address the issue of addiction. Hill says, “Addiction is kind of a vague term and we obviously can’t say that we’ve proven that you can become addicted to food.”
The Center for Consumer Freedom notes that “All this talk about ‘changing biochemistry’ may sound a bit frightening, but remember that everything from sleeping to running will affect the brain in some way. Even ‘oploids’ a chemical that sounds disturbingly like it has something to do with illegal drugs are simply the natural byproduct of everyday activities like exercising.”
Exercise, huh? Now that’s a scary thought.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.