Gallup poll finds public against obesity lawsuits

July 21, 2003

PRINCETON, N.J. -- A new Gallup Poll indicates Americans do not blame the restaurant industry for the country's growing obesity problem.

According to a news release, nine in 10 Americans (89 percent) oppose holding the fast-food industry legally responsible for the diet-related health problems of people who eat such food regularly. Nine percent believe such lawsuits are good.

The survey found that only one-third of Americans believe the fast-food industry bears much responsibility for obesity-related health problems. Six percent said it's very responsible, and 27 percent said it's somewhat responsible.

However, the remainder believe the industry is generally not responsible; 25 percent said the industry is not too responsible for Americans' obesity, and 41 percent said it's "not responsible at all."

Those who described themselves in the survey as overweight were no more likely than others to blame the fast-food industry for obesity-related health problems or to favor lawsuits against the industry.

The survey's results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,006 adults, 18 years and older, conducted July 7-9. Margin of error, the release said, is ±3 percentage points.

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