As more Americans consume fast food each year, more Americans are contracting serious diseases related to obesity. Considering that obesity ranks second behind tobacco use as the largest contributor to mortality rates in the United States, and also that it gives rise to greater publicly funded health care expenses than does tobacco, this phenomenon begs the obvious question: To what extent does the growing consumption of fast food contribute to the obesity epidemic and the incidence of disease? If the answer indicates a meaningful contribution, a natural follow-up question then emerges: In a sensible legal system, what instruments would best ameliorate its effects?
In attempting to answer these questions, this Article explores obesity as an economic occurrence, and how varying legal remedies may curtail its deleterious effects on the American economy. In doing so, this Article surveys the proportional causes of obesity, and it identifies fast food consumption as an essential element. In accordance with that finding, this Article ponders whether an absence of nutritional labeling has precipitated overconsumption, and how the law may be optimally utilized to minimize associated inefficiencies.