General chatter - Who is the real culprit




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ennay
02-19-2007, 05:08 PM
Now let me just preface this random musing by saying I am NOT trying to get into a personal responsibility debate. I think all the lawsuits are crap.

BUT...

There has been so much blame laid at the feet of the fast food industry for the growing obesity trend in the US. Lawsuits. Yes, over the years their portions have grown, and yes it is primarily unhealthy food, but for the most part fast food hasnt changed that much.

I was just thinking...if you are going to blame some corporation...why not blame starbucks? I mean they took an ADDICTIVE product. (Caffeine is by definition an addictive drug, junk food is a little more nebulous as some degree of fat/carb is necessary to live) Anyway, they took an addictive product, made it MORE addictive (the level of caffeine in a starbucks coffee oz/oz is more than double the level of the most common coffee mode of the time, our friend the drip) served it larger sizes to make it even MORE addictive. They added sugar and fat in quantities WAY beyond even a "2 sugar/2 cream" person. They targeted a much more vulnerable youth market and created a whole new market (NObody my age drank coffee when I was in high-school - now you see 12 year old kids bellying up with a latte) by making it taste more like candy than coffee. I was a serious coffee addict and a 2/2 gal in college and I still in the course of a day didnt equal the calories in a single venti mocha. Good god, if those 8 cups of coffee I had in college were mochas :o The only saving grace is the astronomical price.

Unfortunately, now the starbucks addicts move it into their home to save money. My last job had an espresso machine, 6 flavors of syrups, and all the accessories to make a "hot milkshake" right at work. Free of charge. Old time coffee addicts drank it black.

Anyway, just random musings...a gal has a lot of time to think when she is trapped under a nursing baby :D


futuresurferchick
02-19-2007, 05:15 PM
Yeah, so true. Drinks are more dangerous in a way, too, because it doesn't seem like there could possibly be so many calories and fat in a beverage.

ennay
02-19-2007, 05:25 PM
Yeah, so true. Drinks are more dangerous in a way, too, because it doesn't seem like there could possibly be so many calories and fat in a beverage.

Yeah - that was my other point too. I mean I always new McD's was bad. In many ways I think I tended to OVER estimate how bad fast food was compared to other food. But I know tons of people who are flat out stunned when they learn how bad a starbucks drink is.


meowee
02-19-2007, 05:31 PM
Sorry, everybody, but I have a real problem with "blaming" the providers/enablers let alone "suing" them. :^: No body forces us to have the stuff.

Just my opinion of course, but I would think that the coffee places and the fast food joints would clean up their acts if the public put enough pressure on them for "healthier' stuff. :)

marbleflys
02-19-2007, 05:41 PM
I wouldn't even consider *blaming* starbucks for my longstanding coffee habit.... I always knew that some of their styles were loaded with calories, it's pretty obvious. it's like any other food/recipe, YOU decide how much. People should take responsibility for what they put in their mouth/swallow.

(I drink about 6-7 cups before I get to work, thne switch to herbal tea)
I drink it black, drink it with a bit of flavored creamer and splenda (used be Equal before that Sweetnlow)...coffee syrups come in diet too. Now the powdered flavors are done with splenda....it's your option.I bought a froth maker (manual hand pump) works best with cold fat free milk.


We have a Starbucks in the building where I work, if I need a coffee there are light options there too.

futuresurferchick
02-19-2007, 05:43 PM
Sorry, everybody, but I have a real problem with "blaming" the providers/enablers let alone "suing" them. :^: No body forces us to have the stuff.

Just my opinion of course, but I would think that the coffee places and the fast food joints would clean up their acts if the public put enough pressure on them for "healthier' stuff. :)

Yeah.. I think that wasn't really ennay's point though. The discussion of personal responsibility has been had many times in the different 3FC forums. I think she was more just pointing out that we always think about hamburgers and fries but what about the lattes with caramel and whipped cream etc. :)

midwife
02-19-2007, 05:49 PM
Maybe someday there will be Starbucks commercials discussing kicking caffeine addiction just like Philip Morris offers wisdom to kick tobacco.

shelby897
02-19-2007, 05:55 PM
Unfortunately, they are all business and they are out to make money, if we will buy it, no matter how bad it is for us, they will keep selling it. Notice how there is never a "nutritional values" label on any of their wrappers -- if most people were provided this information before they ate/drank these things, they would probably throw it in the garbage!! People know how bad cigarettes are but it's still a million dollar industry.

meowee
02-19-2007, 05:56 PM
OOPS . . . :sorry: You are absolutely right . . . too bad I'm getting so old I can't remember the first sentence, by the time I get to the end of the post. :o

And on the real point of the thread . . . I agree, it is definitely not just the Fast food outlets that pander to our bad, eating and drinking habits. :D

ennay
02-19-2007, 06:55 PM
I was also just saying...well, their timing is more in line for when the obesity epidemic really took off. Fast food has been around for a lot longer. But starbucks hit right when the overweight nation started really becoming an obese nation. Which came first...the chicken or the egg.

No, by all means I am NOT blaming starbucks. I just find it odd that while lawyers are going after McD's like rabid wolves, I have yet to see a "starbucks gave me diabetes" lawsuit. I would think there would be at least as much of a basis given the addictive nature of the product, the marketing and the timing in the obesity epidemic.

Crud...if I see a headline next week I will feel like it is my fault. :p

And really, it probably isnt as much of a big deal elsewhere, but it really was several years after SB was big out here that the info about their super caffeinated status came to light. Now it is well known, but I remember when the first article came out it was a huge deal.

booklover
02-19-2007, 07:51 PM
I agree that people should be responsible for their own weight, however, I feel people are missing a key point about these restaurants. Many fast food joints have advertised their products as having "healthy" and "low fat" options, when in fact they are anything but. Watch the movie "Supersize Me" and you'll learn how McDonald's fruit and yogurt parfait has a ton of sugar in it. More imporantly, all of the salads have some kind of bacon (except for the garden salad). And the fruit & yogurt "meal" costs nearly twice as much as a Happy Meal. One thing the movie points out is that the marketing plans are designed to get children thinking of McDonald's at an early age. Scary thought.

Does this mean that we can blame McDonald's and other fast food vendors for our weight and other unhealthy food choices? Absolutely not. Everyone knows that food is bad for you. Even though the fast food places target children with their advertising and toy prizes, it's up to the parents to exercise control. It's also up to everyone one of us to be informed and make our own health choices. But how much control can you exercise when you are being given false and misleading information?

These restaurant chains need some measure of accountability, but lawsuits aren't the answer. Thankfully, due to new regulations, many of the fast food places now post their nutrition values of their products. Also, there are consumer watch dogs and websites that help uncover misleading and incorrect information. It's my hope that such measures will help people change bad eating habits, reduce childhood obesity and ultimately result in a healthier population. But it's up to us, not them, to effectuate change. Never underestimate the power of the market and how you can use its forces to bring about change.

Good luck to everyone.

almostheaven
02-19-2007, 08:17 PM
Starbucks is simply giving the public what they want. Otherwise, their sales would be in the red. People who are addicted to caffein (I'll reserve my opinion on it being a "real" addiction :P) were addicted BEFORE Starbucks. If they went there for the sweeter, creamier and larger coffees, they did so of their own free will. No more so or less than in going to McDs. I don't blame either and don't see the purpose in it.

But if I personally want a fattening drink, I'd choose McDs milkshake over Starbucks as I don't drink coffee. Although I did have a Starbucks hot chocolate once. This was AFTER I'd lost my weight, during a long and late trip, in the middle of winter. It was the BEST hot chocolate I've ever had. That was 2 years ago, I've never had another. So at least I know the hot chocolate isn't addictive. ;)

ennay
02-19-2007, 10:00 PM
Big ol eye roll.

Glory87
02-19-2007, 10:32 PM
I was just thinking...if you are going to blame some corporation...why not blame starbucks?

I'd blame 7-11 and the 44 oz Super Big Gulp before I'd blame Starbucks.

ennay
02-20-2007, 01:26 AM
Ooooh that is another good one Glory, I forgot about those. I had a male coworker who just couldnt lose weight. Then one day I saw him with the HUGE Mt. Dew super big gulp. 64 oz? I think. I think I calculated it was 960 calories? Something like that. Every day.

See there are lots of places...fast food is just too easy a target.

samanthaf63
02-21-2007, 12:48 AM
Look at the stupid woman who put a hot cup of coffee between her thighs when she was driving - not only did she settle out of court but now the temperature of all McDonald's coffee has been lowered because of one stupid woman who was too dumb to put the coffee cup in the coffee holder of her car. Bet she drives holding her cell phone and puts on mascara on the on ramp to the highway.

We all KNOW that large quantities of fast food and non-diet soda has a heavy calorie burden. I don't care that someone is whining they didn't know - we were all educated in school to know what the four food groups are and that we should eat more fruits and veggies and less carbs and surgar. It doesn't matter who provides it - McDonald's, Starbucks, or Great-Aunt Bertha - we know we shouldn't eat as much of it as we do.

Believe me, I am not blaming us fat chicks for our fat - sure, we are likely to carry a heavier burden than someone who is 5 lbs. overweight and we are less likely to lose that five pounds than someone else without a weight issue. But ultimately, we hold the responsibility for what we eat (speaking for adults; children are an entirely different issue). Just because the fast food joints offer it does not mean we have to eat it.

Plus, it's been proven by the coffee lady and others that stupidity can be rewarded financially. Make a quick (big) buck with a nuisance lawsuit.

(By the way, some of my weaknesses include Portillo's french fries and hard-shell tacos. So I know all about which temptations are out there!)

almostheaven
02-21-2007, 11:09 AM
You know when you start to think about, it's just incredible that these super-sized things even came about. I mean that it even entered the minds of the powers that be at these companies. Just one day it popped into their heads "Ummm, let's offer big, gigantic, astronomical sized portions and I bet people will go for it"? And then the other powers that be all said "Yeah, great idea!" No one thought to say "What are you kidding, who's gonna go for all that food, there's way to much in those portions, no one would even THINK of eating that much at one sitting"
It's quite likely they monitored the free refills and decided to make a buck, rather than giving so much away free, by just selling larger sizes.

Glory87
02-21-2007, 01:34 PM
Look at the stupid woman who put a hot cup of coffee between her thighs when she was driving - not only did she settle out of court but now the temperature of all McDonald's coffee has been lowered because of one stupid woman who was too dumb to put the coffee cup in the coffee holder of her car. Bet she drives holding her cell phone and puts on mascara on the on ramp to the highway.

It always makes me sad when people bring up this case as an example of frivolous lawsuits. She wasn't driving, she was a passenger and the car was stopped at a drive-through. The coffee was scalding, McDonalds knew it was dangerously hot and didn't lower the temperature (their coffee was 20 degrees higher than coffee from other restaurants). The woman was burned terribly in her groin area and needed skin grafts. She originally only wanted her medical bills paid (20,000) - she wasn't trying for some fabulous payout. I've read about this case and I think she was justified and obviously, the jury actually presented with the evidence was too.

Good summation:

79 year old Stella Liebeck suffered third degree burns on her groin and inner thighs while trying to add sugar to her coffee at a McDonalds drive through. Third degree burns are the most serious kind of burn. McDonalds knew it had a problem. There were at least 700 previous cases of scalding coffee incidents at McDonalds before Liebeck's case. McDonalds had settled many claim before but refused Liebeck's request for $20,000 compensation, forcing the case into court. Lawyers found that McDonalds makes its coffee 30-50 degrees hotter than other restaurants, about 190 degrees. Doctors testified that it only takes 2-7 seconds to cause a third degree burn at 190 degrees. McDonalds knew its coffee was exceptionally hot but testified that they had never consulted with burn specialist. The Shriner Burn Institute had previously warned McDonalds not to serve coffee above 130 degrees. And so the jury came back with a decision- $160,000 for compensatory damages. But because McDonalds was guilty of "willful, reckless, malicious or wanton conduct" punitive damages were also applied. The jury set the award at $2.7 million. The judge then reduced the fine to less than half a million. Ms. Liebeck then settled with McDonalds for a sum reported to be much less than a half million dollars. McDonald's coffee is now sold at the same temperature as most other restaurants.

http://www2.bc.cc.ca.us/gdumler/Eng%201A%20Online/Editorials%20&%20Articles/mcdonalds_coffee_lawsuit.htm

tikanique
02-21-2007, 01:36 PM
I don't blame that woman that sued about the coffee. She was a senior citizen, not a cell phone, make up applying talking while driving person. PLUS the industry has standards on how hot something should be for safety reasons. The standards aren't set in stone but are put in place as a way to keep people from being injured. Their coffee was WAY hotter than the industry safety standard and this poor woman was seriously burned on her inner thighs and her hoo-haa. NOTHING should be served that hot. What if she had went inside to get the coffee and when she walked away from the counter she tripped and spilled it on some child? Would someone be right to sue then? Of course.

I agree that people do sue over some dumb stuff but in this case,the slant that reporters put on it made the woman look like a whiner but when you read the actual complaint filed with the court, it's obvious she had every right to sue. Additionally, there are additional $$s you can recover if you have injuries to your sex organs, which she did.

Tiki

junebug41
02-21-2007, 01:44 PM
[QUOTE=Glory87;1581133]It always makes me sad when people bring up this case as an example of frivolous lawsuits. The coffee was scalding, McDonalds knew it was dangerously hot and didn't lower the temperature (their coffee was 20 degrees higher than coffee from other restaurants). The woman was burned terribly in her groin area and needed skin grafts. She originally only wanted her medical bills paid (20,000) - she wasn't trying for some fabulous payout. I've read about this case and I think she was justified and obviously, the jury actually presented with the evidence was too.QUOTE]

I was in a poli-sci class where a kid brought this up and the professor spent the rest of the lecture setting us straight on this. You are right, it is a sad misconception.

Whittlin
02-21-2007, 02:54 PM
I think this thread makes an interesting point. As a consumer I don't see how I could find out that Starbucks coffee has more caffiene that coffee made according to the directions at home, or coffee served by their competitors, except that there are consumer watchdogs out there who publish this info. Since my doctor advises me against caffiene, and caffiene is addictive but hamburger is not (I know that's a simplification) it does start making fast food places look a little less "evil".

The alertness benefits of caffiene wear off if you have it every day, btw. Best way to benefit from it is to lay off the caffiene for 2 weeks, then have some the day of the test, event, etc., you want to be ready for.

ennay
02-21-2007, 03:12 PM
I use caffeine the way I use aspirin....as needed. It works so well that way.

I need to taper off again, we had houseguests for a while who were making real coffee and I am slightly addicted again.

phantastica
02-21-2007, 05:37 PM
Although they don't publish drink nutritional information on the cups or in plain view at the store, most coffee chains do have web sites that show the nutritional information on those drinks. Once I saw what my large froufy mocha had in calories, I immediately switched to a medium coffee with milk. If I'm going to consume 700 calories, I'd go for cheesecake.

In America, we have this belief that "Bigger Is Better" whether it be coffees, french fries, or cars. The bigger-is-better belief just doesn't apply to women's bodies in most cases. I think the companies also like doing the bigger-is-better thing, because selling 20 oz of french fries at a time is more cost effective than selling 8 oz of french fries.