The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

It's time to restrict the supply of junk food to the obese

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,655 times Debate No: 13625
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




I have tried in past debates to suggest ways to prevent the obese from obtaining junk food from downscale restaurant chains such as McDonald's; KFC and Burger King: everything from making it illegal for these restaurants to serve them in the same way as it is illegal for bars to serve alcohol to drunks; all the way through to obliging fast food restaurants to make their entrances narrower to stop grossly overweight people from entering the premises in the first place.

However, I failed to overwhelmingly convince the voters of the undoubted merits of these schemes, so here I am again with my latest (and best) solution yet:

I propose that under future government legislation customers at fast food restaurants will order their food at the counter as normal but instead of the server handing them their order they will, instead, place their tray of food and drinks on a conveyor belt that will run a loop around the restaurant back into the kitchen.

This done, the customer will "chase" his order round the room rather like greyhounds chase a rabbit round a track. (Play YouTube clip #1)

However, to avoid spilling the food and drinks, the conveyor belt will have to travel quite slowly which would thus enable even the most fat and wheezy of slobberchops to grab their order so the enclosed "track" alongside the conveyor belt will need to be modified in order to slow the chasing customer down.

To achieve this, I not only propose conventional obstacles such as a wall to climb over, a cargo net to crawl under and a water-filled pit to jump over but also a moving sidewalk on an incline that customers will have to run up in the opposite direction to travel. (Play YouTube clip #2 in reverse)

This will mean that fit customers will still be able to collect their food relatively easily but overweight customers will have to physically exert themselves in a way they are unused to and this will result in one of the following three outcomes:

1 – They will catch their food having burned off lots of calories – which would be good thing.
2 – They will fail to catch their food and watch it disappear back into the kitchen and thus go without their fix of grease and stodge – which would be a good thing.
3 – They will patronise alternative establishments that only sell healthy food until they have lost enough weight to catch their orders at junk food restaurants – which would be good thing.

This plan could protect millions of grossly overweight people from themselves and I, therefore, duly commend it to the House.

Thank you.


Honorable brian_eggleston,
Dear Voters,

As my honorable opponent suggested, we should "prevent the obese from obtaining junk food from restaurant chains such as McDonald's, KFC and Burger King." I am against this. I will ignore the fallacy in the argument for which it is unclear which restaurant chains my opponent is referring to. In the sake of debate I will assume that my opponent means "Fast-Food" franchises which offer and promote unhealthy eating.

While I strongly agree that obesity is a large problem within society, I do not believe that the means suggested to combat the problem are either ethically or constitutionally correct.

Encouraging obese people, or in fact any people to run, jump and dodge obstacles for their food is ridiculous (let alone dangerous) and can lead to humiliation to the highest degree. My opponent is thus suggesting using humiliation to discourage eating fast food, or in other words, discouraging the belief that fast food is unhealthy and not of the right nutritional value. This can be compared to when Jewish people in Nazi Germany had to wear David's Star [1] on their clothing on the streets and in school to humiliate them, and through this humiliation aiming to convert them to more 'appropriate' beliefs as they should be ashamed of their choice of belief. [2] My opponent's claim can thus be worded as 'cruel' and ethically wrong.

It is true that the customers could choose to eat at a fast food restaurant (and therefore have a choice to be humiliated or not), whereas Jews had no choice but to be branded with the so-called Yellow Star. However, just like the customers would have a choice to eat elsewhere, the Jews also had a choice to live elsewhere. [3]

The treatment of the customer would also go against the fundamental base upon which the United States are based on: Its constitution. Amendment 14, Clause 1 reads, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." My opponent's suggested law goes against almost every aspect of this amendment. Enforcing a legislation forcing customers to run for their food, assuming that the more obese people will not be able to catch their food is a law deprives them of life, liberty and property as firstly, they will not be able to choose to live their life as they like, and have the liberty to act as they choose because they will be forced to either not eat fast food, or run. As the customer has paid for his/her meal, the law will also assume that the more obese people will be deprived of their property. The more obese people which my opponent hopes this legislation will refer to will not be treated equally. The proposed legislation thus goes against almost everything the first clause of Amendment 14 reads. Furthermore, it is almost as if the more obese people are being punished for being obese by not being allowed to eat. This goes against Amendment 8 of the constitution which claims "cruel and unusual punishment [should not be] inflicted." [4]

We can look for other countries. The 68th Article of the Icelandic constitution says, "No one may be subjected to torture or any other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment," and "No one shall be required to perform compulsory labour." [5]
The Indian Constitution reads, "Protection of life and personal liberty.- No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law." (Article 21) Article 13 of the same constitution reads, "Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights. ... (Clause 2) The State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void." [6]

We can thus see that freedom of life and liberty is supported internationally and is in fact Article 3 of the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights.[7]

Lastly, after the government will have stratified companies which run 'Fast Food' restaurants and made it mandatory for them to have a conveyor belt in each of its franchises, it would be unfair towards 'Fast-Food' companies as they are being treated differently than their competitors.

In replacement to the policy my opponent has suggested, more emphasis should be placed on education. As Plato said in 'The Republic', "The beginning is the most important part of the work." [8] Therefore, if we teach our children of the implications of fast food from the very beginning, they will become more aware of the potential consequences. Grants could even be offered to those which produce movies or other media campaigns with positive social implications such as the movie 'SuperSize Me' which would aim for awareness of the older generations.

It is not up to the government to control its population as shown in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, but it can certainly educate its population to make certain decisions.

Let us say this legislation passes, and fast food restaurants will implement this policy of a conveyor belt. Hypothetically, customer A has two friends accompanying him, the two friends can simply pick up the food as it comes out of the kitchen, so no "chasing" will be involved.
Let us assume another case, an obese family of 6 has a very athletic aunt/uncle/any other family member or friend. What should stop the family to send the athlete to order the food? This undermines the attempt to combat obesity.
Lastly, what will stop other customers who are also hungry not to wait at the end of the track and take food which does not belong to them?

In conclusion, we can see that not only is the argument ethically, and constitutionally wrong, but also an incomplete method to combat obesity.

[1] Image (
[2] Jewish History (
[3] US Holocaust Memorial Museum (
[4] US constitution (
[5] Icelandic Constitution (
[6] Indian Constitution (
[7] UN Human Rights (
[8] Plato Quotation (The Republic <'s+Republic&x=0&y=0> ;
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to express my thanks to Lawstudent123 for accepting this debate and posting such an eloquent rebuttal to which I duly respond as follows:

My opponent began by comparing the supposed humiliation the obese will suffer in fast food restaurants under my proposal with the alleged humiliation heaped upon the Jews in Nazi Germany when they were asked to wear Star of David armbands.

Whilst there is no doubt that Jewish people suffered terribly at the hands of the Nazis, it is not right to imply that wearing a Star of David would be humiliating for a Jew.

Personally, I don't accept that being Jewish is anything to be ashamed of: and if many Americans proudly wear Stars and Stripes lapel badges; I don't see why Jews wouldn't be equally proud to wear a Star of David armband.

The fact that most Jews do not wear Star of David armbands these days must be attributed to their inherent humility. Indeed, this innate modesty may be the reason why Jews are not more successful in commerce than they are. With their reputation for honest, straightforward business transactions, one would assume that it would be beneficial for them to advertise the fact that their businesses are Jewish-owned.

However, very few Jewish shop owners daub Stars of David on their front windows and place signs at the entrances reading: "this business is owned by JEWS" but even if my opponent is right and they do not do so because they are ashamed rather than modest, being Jewish is not something they have any control over.

Not like the obese. In all but a tiny minority of cases, the cause of obesity is the patient's calorific input exceeds their calorific output – in other words, they are greedy and lazy. [1]

That's why you don't see any fat people among the thousands of emaciated prisoners in old pictures of Nazi concentration camps ("Oy-vey, Ismael, how come we're all as thin a rakes but you are the size of a small house? Have you been collaborating with the Nazis in exchange for extra rations?" – "No, I've just got a slow metabolism, that's all.")

Therefore, if the obese are humiliated in fast food restaurants under my scheme they will be out of choice: it is their choice they are fat because they choose to drive rather than walk or cycle and to eat junk food instead of healthy food.

Moving on, the spectacle of an obese hauling his portly frame over the wall; scrambling sweating and panting under the cargo net; emerging dripping wet from the water pit before trying to clamber up the moving walkway only to run out of steam just before the top and then being deposited in a big, blubbery heap at the bottom of it and then watching his dismay as his dinner disappears back into the kitchen would be hugely entertaining (play YouTube clips) and attract many customers, even though the grossly overweight mind find it demeaning.

However, I don't think the prospect of being laughed and pointed at by a crowd of jeering diners would necessarily deter the obese from continuing to patronise junk food restaurants after the new rules are introduced – they need their fix of greasy stodge just as much as any crackhead needs his fix of cocaine – they'll do anything to satisfy their cravings – even perform degrading physical acts and endure the ridicule of a crowd braying onlookers.

But this is not unconstitutional or "cruel and unusual punishment" – if the grossly overweight were rounded up, herded into cattle trucks and shipped to concentration camps where they would be put on starvation rations and made to work for no wages, then my opponent would have a point, but they will visit junk food restaurants of their own volition rather than dine in more healthy establishments such as sushi bars or wholefood cafes.

Remember, nobody will be forcing the obese to visit junk food restaurants, humiliate themselves and possibly forfeit their purchases: it will be solely their choice.

Of course, my scheme is not perfect and some of the more determined and imaginative obese will find ways to cheat the system, just as my opponent pointed out, but overall this proposal could help millions of grossly overweight people live longer, more active lives and I therefore urge you to vote Pro in support of it.

Thank you.



Honorable Brian_eggleston,
Distinguished Voters,

Firstly I would like to express my apologies to all those of Jewish decent who may have been offended with my claim that Jews were humiliated wearing David's Star. This is of course not true. However, what was humiliating for those Jews in Nazi Germany was the branding of the Jews and creation of hate towards the Jews in society, so when other people within society saw Jews who wore a David's star on their jacket, the people were forbidden to communicate with the Jews in any way, and stayed away from the Jews in order to avoid being prosecuted by the local government.

Consider this: If unarmed Americans would wear Stars and Stripes in the streets of Iraq or Pakistan, or even North Korea where Americans are generally hated, don't you think you would be ashamed to walk in the streets, or even scared. The person's fear does not come from the Stars and Stripes or the David's Star, but it comes from the other people who either dislike, or are brought up to hate the Stars and Stripes and David's Star.

Now, consider this: We set a conveyor belt in all fast-food chains, and therefore all more obese people will not catch their food as my opponent hypothesizes, and thus we will battle obesity. This is not true. Instead, we will make the more obese people the laughing stock of the whole restaurant, which brands those people in a similar nature as in Nazi Germany society. Less obese people will mock those who are more obese and a certain spite against more obese people will be created in society. This will not be very constitutional and will go against US Constitution's 8th amendment.
The mocking of the more obese people may lead to depression. Knowing that depression leads to obesity, the person might thus eat even more making my opponent's attempt to battle obesity useless and have the exact opposite effect. [1]

The 'more obese' will still be able to go to local supermarkets and buy unhealthy food, so in order to make my opponent's idea of combating obesity work would be to close down the more obese people's access to the whole of society, so excluding them from society might have the same effects as "if the grossly overweight were rounded up, herded into cattle trucks and shipped to concentration camps where they would be put on starvation rations and made to work for no wages," because they will be excluded from society.
I may be taking my opponent's words out of context, but in both cases, the claim fails: If the more obese will still be able to go to supermarkets, my opponent's policy will fail as it will, as discussed, not combat obesity at all, whereas if the more obese are simply excluded from society, the policy should not even be implemented, because of its unconstitutional nature.

It is true that Jewish people have little control over whether they are Jewish or not, but as I explicitly stated in Round 1, Jews, "had a choice to live elsewhere," than in Nazi Germany and thus were able to avoid the cruel treatment the Nazis imposed on them. Even though the more obese people that my opponent is targeting have a choice to eat elsewhere, their freedom will be imposed whether or not they eat somewhere else, because they will not have the choice to go to a fast-food restaurant without being mocked and hated against.
It would also be unconstitutional to say "If you're fat, you must eat in a whole food caf´┐Ż or a sushi bar." This is not only discrimination, but also forceful and depriving those who meet this category of their life, liberty and freedom.

The argument of breach of freedom was an argument which I brought up in Round 1 and my opponent did not reply to at all, so I assume my opponent was not able to find a rebuttal to this. To sum it up, this legislation would go against Amendment 8 and 14 of the US constitution and Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations.

Lastly, as, in a democratic society, it is not the government's role to control its citizens' actions, I emphasize the importance of education within a society as discussed in Round 1 in order to be able to teach the citizens to make the right choices.

Distinguished voters, my first debate at is now at end. I hope I have shown a justified view in why obese people should have the freedom and choice to go to a fast-food restaurant as they wish.

My opponent's claim is, to me, unfair and unconstitutional and will not have any beneficial results on society. I hope I have persuaded you to believe so as well.

I urge you to vote Con because the suggested method of combating the problem of obesity is not only unconstitutional, but also humiliating and unethical as well as incomplete.

Thank you!

[1] Obesity and Depression are linked (
Debate Round No. 2
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
I actually looked at a list of the top 20 healthiest fast food restaurants not too long ago; McDonald's was #8.
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
Thanks for an excellent debate, lawstudent123, and the best of luck with your future debates on this site.
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
I like all of Pro's ideas. Especially the narrow entrances, lol.
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
One argument which would win this debate:
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
Yes, I know, yet another debate on obesity.

Sorry about this seemingly irrational phobia of the grossly overweight but you have to understand that I was bitten by an obese when I was a child!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
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