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Business Law Chapter 16 Homework Texas released a series of maps recently that show

Page Count
4 pages
Word Count
954 words
Book Title
Applied Business Ethics: A Skills-Based Approach 1st Edition
Authors
Dean Bredeson
MODULE 16: Marketing Unhealthy Food to Children
Core Module Issues:
Do food companies share in the blame for the obesity epidemic?
Are children in particular need of new protections from food that is "bad
for them"?
If so, what form should the new protections take?
Module Teaching Notes
OK, so away from imaginary ads, and on to a single specific issue.
The obesity epidemic is an incredible problem. Only about 1 in 3 adults is at an optimal body weight.
Another 1/3 fit the medical definition of "overweight", and a final 1/3 meet the definition of "obese".
Projections show these problems intensifying substantially over the next three decades.
Costs associated with the problem will be very high.
Texas released a series of maps recently that show how one often-weight related condition type II
diabetes will trend over the next 30 years. The maps show, in full color, how diabetes will increase
dramatically in EVERY COUNTY IN THE STATE in a single generation. Rural or urban, East Texas or
West, the increase will be everywhere.
And so, what, if anything, is to be done? Do we merely say, "Well, people have to make their own choices
about what to eat, and that's that"? Do we try a slew of new regulations? If so, what will the regulations
look like? And who will create them? If you wish, present the First Lady's proposals to the group as well.
After introducing these ideas (and expanding on them, it you wish), you should pose the questions in the
last paragraph to the group for discussion. Try to steer the conversation away from assigning fault and
towards answers / good directions for the future.
In the end, it may be that Congress, or administrative agencies, seek to directly regulate the food industry.
If such an attempt is made, it will be met with ferocious lobbying efforts and legal challenges. New rules
may or may not stand.
It might also be true that the food industry itself volunteers to make some changes in how it markets
products.
The near-term battleground will probably center on foods that appeal to children. Childhood obesity seems
to generate more public concern than adult obesity.
The scenario that concludes the module addresses these issues from several angles.
What will help? What will realistically be done? What should be done?
If you wish, you might refer back to one or both of the opening units here. You could raise utilitarian or
Kantian issues, and you could raise customer stakeholder issues as well.
Discussion Points for Scenario Questions
1. Set aside the specific company in the scenario and assess the four ideas in general. Rank
them from most likely to help the problem of childhood obesity ("1") to least likely to help with
the problem of childhood obesity ("4").
_____ Eliminate cartoon characters used to advertise sugary cereal, snacks, and drinks
_____ Reduce added sugar itself in cereal, snacks, and drinks
_____ Expand offerings of lower calorie, smaller-sized portions
_____ Expand grocery store locations into "food deserts”
A. WHAT WAS YOUR TOP CHOICE? WHY?
B. WHAT WAS YOUR BOTTOM CHOICE? WHY?
2. Now consider the same basic ideas from Food Corp's perspective. Rank the four ideas
presented to the CEO from most worthy of consideration ("1") to least worthy ("4") of
consideration for the company.
_____ Eliminate cartoon characters used to advertise sugary cereal
_____ Reduce added sugar by 25 percent
_____ Offer lower calorie, smaller-sized portions
_____ Expand grocery store locations
A. WHAT WAS YOUR TOP CHOICE? WAS IT THE SAME AS YOUR TOP
CHOICE IN QUESTION 1? WHY OR WHY NOT?
B. WHAT WAS YOUR BOTTOM CHOICE? WAS IT THE SAME AS YOUR
TOP CHOICE IN QUESTION 1? WHY OR WHY NOT?
3. To what degree should parents and guardians bear responsibility for their children's diets?
Are they more or less to blame for childhood obesity than food companies?
A. PARENTS MORE TO BLAME - WHY? WOULDN'T IT BE EASIER IF
THERE WERE LESS JUNK FOOD TO BEGIN WITH?
B. COMPANIES MORE TO BLAME WHY? AREN'T THEY A LONG WAY
"OUT OF THE HOUSE"
4. To what degree do food companies have an ethical obligation to try to reduce obesity in their
customers, if in acting their profits would decline? Is the obligation different if most of their
consumers are adults and not children?
A. SIGNIFICANT OBLIGATION HOW MUCH OF THEIR PROFITS MUST
THEY SACRIFICE? 10%? 25%? MORE?
5. Do you expect real food companies to make the kinds of changes outlined in this module? If
they fail to do so, should the government require the changes with new regulations?

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