As the public continues to chew on (and, largely, spit out) the idea of holding restaurants legally responsible for their patrons’ dietary choices, the Columbia Missourian asked its own local experts for their opinions.

Bill Bondenson, a University of Missouri medical ethics professor, took issue with the current rash of lawsuits pointed at McDonald’s. “If that lawsuit makes sense,” he said, “then we should sue bakeries for making pastries or sugar companies for making sugar. Is there no sense of responsibility anymore? Whatever happened to self control?

“I believe this is the most litigious society in the history of mankind and it’s only going to get worse. I suppose someday that if students don’t come to class they can start suing us because they won’t learn anything… This is just a ludicrous shifting of the blame to an inappropriate place.”

And Amy Bowers Ebertz, a University of Missouri psychologist, noted: “There is not a direct… one-on-one cause and effect for obesity. Things like genetics and environment all factor into it; because of this I don’t think it’s fair to blame the fast food companies.”