Throngs of consumers line up for Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets every day but that doesn’t mean that thousands of people also can come together to sue McDonald’s Corp. for making them fat.

Bloomberg reports that a federal judge in New York has turned down a bid by two plaintiffs who sought to turn their 8-year-old lawsuit against McDonald’s — which accuses the company of harming their health and engaging in illegal deceptive marketing — into class action litigation.

Lawyers for the two plaintiffs had sought to include potentially thousands of other youths in their suit, which highlights the issue of childhood obesity.  However, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs had not shown that teenagers as a class suffered the same medical injuries that they may have from eating McDonald’s food.

McDonald’s spokesperson, Heidi Barker, told Bloomberg via email that the company was “extremely pleased” with the court decision. She said it was “unfair to blame McDonald’s” for the “complex societal problem” of childhood obesity.

Pressure has been stepped up against the fast-food industry, related to obesity concerns, since the suit was filed in 2002. New York City and at least a dozen other municipalities have banned trans fats, which have been found to increase the risk of heart disease, in cooking oils.

For its part, McDonald’s has added healthier alternatives, such as apples and low-fat milk, to its kids menu. Still, the Washington-based consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest threatened in June to sue McDonald’s if the company didn’t stop giving out toys with its Happy Meals. The group claimed the practice constituted “unfair and deceptive marketing,” and was illegal under various state consumer protection laws.

The group’s litigation director, Stephen Gardner, called the company “the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children,” and said giving toys with kids meals induced children “to prefer foods that may harm their health.”

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