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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

We need a big bite of common sense

Sunday, November 21, 2004

I got a real kick from the announcement this week that the Hardee's fast-food chain is introducing a 1,420 calorie Thickburger that mocks the current low carb, low fat trend sweeping our weight-conscious nation.

The chain's "monument to decadence" has health experts up in arms. With two 1/3-pound slabs of beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese and mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun, the burger is sure to become the new poster child for our flabby nation.

With other fast food chains trying their best to offer healthy salads and low carb alternatives, Hardee's has obviously decided to take a different approach. I would love to build an advertising campaign around this bulging burger.

But wouldn't you know it? Right in the middle of the discussion over the grossly inappropriate Thickburger, comes this voice of common sense and logic that is so desperately needed in our society today. That's right - leave it to me to find something positive in a story on burgers.

St. Louis University professor of nutrition and dietetics William Hart hit the nail on the head when asked about the artery-clogging burger. Hart said it wasn't the burger that was the problem. It was the consumer. "It comes down to people have to take responsibility for themselves. In moderation, there's no reason you can't enjoy it."

Gosh I wish I had said those words. But Hart is so very right. It's not the products or the manufacturers in our society that create the problems. It's us. If we don't take personal responsibility, then virtually anything done in excess can be bad for our health or safety.

But our point-the-finger-of-blame society has drifted away from this notion. We are all too quick to blame the fast food industry - and countless others - when the real culprit is our lack of responsibility. We need not look beyond the mirror to find the real problem most of the time. But we have all become victims and, with the assistance of the legal community, now seek to blame others for our own personal shortcomings.

I was driving along one afternoon this week and watched two 400-pound behemoths pull away from our local Dairy Queen armed with massive tubs of ice cream. Given the chance, these two would likely sue the ice cream chain for their health problems when the real problem is their total lack of personal responsibility. The examples, as you well know, are virtually endless.

Someone, somewhere will consume more than their share of these new Thickburgers and develop health issues associated with obesity. And then they'll find a lawyer willing to take their case. How sad it is that we've abandoned the fundamental issue of personal responsibility.

How sad!

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