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The issue of obesity in the American population has become a hot national topic. While there has been some dispute among interested groups as to the extent of the problem, it seems clear that obesity causes health conditions that include diabetes, heart disease and sleep apnea. Indeed, authorities as established as former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher have stated that the problem of obesity may eventually cause as much preventable disease and death as cigarette smoking. The sparkplug event on the issue in the legal community was the filing of the Pelman v. McDonald’s Corp. action in a New York state court in August 2002, which was removed to federal court a month later. In that action, two girls, as members of a putative class action of minors, alleged that their obesity and other health problems were caused by their heavy diet of McDonald’s products. The noise on the issue was amplified by the Second Circuit’s decision in Pelman v. McDonald’s Corp., 396 F.3d 508 (2d Cir. 2004), reversing the district court’s dismissal of the action.

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