American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation




No Food For You

Posted by Matt Cipriano | 3 Comments

We have all heard that our country has a weight problem. Various initiatives have been put in place and tooled with to help with this problem. New York banned serving foods with Trans-Fats, Chain Restaurants will soon be required to list the caloric value of their food on their menu. One state has taken things a step forward.

Mississippi, known for its forward thinking views on human rights, has presented House Bill (#282) which, if passed, will ban restaurants from serving “obese” people. How will servers at restaurants be able to tell if some one falls into Mississippi’s standards for classifying some one as obese? Glad you asked: “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.”

While I get the idea behind this bill, I think this is a bad move in the battle to get people to eat healthy. Maybe employing an initiative that promotes education and good eating practices is a better idea then not allowing fat people in restaurants. All this bill does is remove obese people from public restaurants. I don’t think ordering delivery has been banned, and what if they are going to a healthy restaurant (maybe they don’t exist in Mississippi). Also, this doesn’t stop people fom going to the supermarket and buying 5 boxes of Twinkies.

I would like someone from the Mississippi Legislature to tell me how exactly this will help. While I would prefer one of the representatives who put the bill up to comment on it, I will settle for anyone who plans on voting in favor of it.

And I would also like to start odds on how long before the first law-suit claiming discrimination comes up. I mean, I know Mississippi is fat, but come on, can’t we figure out better ways of EDUCATING people on how to eat properly rather then banning them from restaurants?

Let’s also note the three representatives who put this bill up were Mayhall, Shows and Read, a pharmaceutical sales rep (retired), a business man, and a pharmacist. While I am sure they had the best intentions, they are not exactly folks concerned with health as much as how to make a dollar off of your health.

Comments

3 Responses to “No Food For You”

  1. Elizabeth
    February 5th, 2008 @

    How much do Mayhall,Shows and Read weigh?

  2. Jason
    February 5th, 2008 @

    Don’t Representatives work with lawyers in drafting legislation to find out what potential legal difficulties a proposed law would face – like, say, DISCRIMINATION, as Matt points out?

    You can’t refuse service to someone on the basis of his being fat. Just like you can’t refuse service to someone on the basis of his being too tall, or too short, or too thin! It was always very clear to me in my restaurant jobs that you couldn’t refuse alcohol service to a pregnant woman for the same reason – discrimination.

    It’s an absolutely absurd law which I’m certain will never pass and would most certainly be struck down by a higher court before the ink on the legislation is even dry. I can only assume that the numbnuts who have introduced this bill are also aware that it would never pass and so are trying to stir up controversy or call some kind of statewide attention to the obesity problem facing their state.

  3. Jason
    February 6th, 2008 @

    Interesting question Elizabeth, and I’ve got 1/3 of your answer here as well as verification of my own assumption (by way of Andrew Sullivan, who was scooped by AM):

    http://www.boingboing.net/2008/02/05/bill-to-ban-restaura.html

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