Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bill would make it illegal to feed the obese

Three legislators want to make it illegal for restaurants to serve obese customers in Mississippi.
House Bill No. 282, which was introduced this month, says: Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management established under Section 41-101-1 or its successor. The State Department of Health shall prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese, and shall provide those materials to all food establishments to which this section applies. A food establishment shall be entitled to rely on the criteria for obesity in those written materials when determining whether or not it is allowed to serve food to any person.
The proposal would allow health inspectors to yank the permit from any restaurant that "repeatedly" feeds extremely overweight customers.
The bill, written by GOP Rep. W. T. Mayhall Jr., was referred to the Judiciary and Public Health committees, but The Jackson Free Press doesn't expect it to garner much support in the statehouse.
About two-third of Mississippians are considered overweight or obese, according to a recent analysis of federal health data.


Vicki said...

OMG now that is crazy!!! I can not even believe a restaurant would follow those little rules if so many are overweight. I so swear this country is becoming more and more communist

joanne said...

And according to the article 2/3 of the population of MS is considered overweight or obese. So if all those people would be denied being served what would happen to the restaurant industry in MS? Lots of restaurants would be going out of buisness if 2/3 of their population couldn't eat in those establishments. Not to mention it's discrimination IMO!!! How about getting the restaurants to put healthier selections on their menus and reduce portions? Nah that makes to much sense!

Tommy said...

The guy who proposed the bill did so to make a point, from what i hear - he never expected it to get put in front of a vote.

I'm pretty 'progressive', but you can't mandate common sense, and if people want to eat fries and Coke and call themselves vegetarians for doing so, that's how it goes.

The sad part is, most of these poor, rural areas - places once so lush with fresh produce and veggies - are now the places that have the highest ratio of obese adults and kids. Why? Because fast food is cheaper than healthy food, and parents are working long hours and can't supervise what their kids eat. That's the part we need to fix.

joanne said...

I am glad to hear that this bill wasn't intended to be serious but rather get attention. You are so right Tommy, unfortunately it's a lot cheaper to eat poorly than healthy and that's sad. Produce is very expensive, it shouldn't be cheaper to buy a Big Mac value meal than it is to buy salad fixings.