Junk food addiction may become your firm's new practice niche.
That is, if it catches on.
One Yale professor seems to think it might. Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity says that she thinks new scientific finding about junk food could change the legal landscape.
Apparently, scientists are now finding that junk food affects the brain similar to a drug.
Those addicted to junk food seem to suffer from similar impacts on the mind as individuals addicted to cocaine and nicotine.
Brain scans of obese people or compulsive eaters show startling similarities to addicts. It might be because the brain may become desensitized. Those used to eating fatty and sugary foods may tend to continue to eat the same amount in order to maintain the same level of pleasure, according to Bloomberg.
This might explain why diets, drugs and education have failed to curb the obesity epidemic.
This scenario and set of facts might sound familiar to attorneys. Substitute in the word "tobacco" for "junk food" and you have a practice area that has existed for years. Some attorneys have pursued nicotine and tobacco-based personal injury, wrongful death, and products liability suits against companies for quite a long time.
Suits against junk food companies would have been more difficult in the past. Now, there's scientific evidence that may help bolster a client's claims.
This doesn't necessarily mean that junk food addiction will result in a influx of new lawsuits. It might, though. Or, it's possible that agencies will step in and begin to regulate the field. You are what you eat, and for many Americans what you eat can cost you in more ways than one. Obesity can shave off 10 years of a person's life, reports Bloomberg.
- Research on Junk Foods and Addiction Could Lead to Tobacco-Type Litigation, Yale Prof Says (ABA Journal)
- The "Big Fat" Class Action Lawsuit Against Fast Food Companies (FindLaw's Writ)
- NY: Ban Soda From Food Stamps Program (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)