Proposed Law Bans Obese Restaurant Patrons?

February 11th, 2008

A trio of Mississippi lawmakers has proposed pending legislation that would, in effect, bar obese people from dining at public restaurants.

More than 30 percent of Mississippi’s population is onsidered obese. It is always at the top of the annual “fattest states” list. However, there has been considerable outrage over Mississippi House Bill 282 (proposed by 2 Republics and 1 Democrat).

US ConstitutionThe law would apply to any restaurant that holds a health department permit and has enclosed seating for five or more – a definition broad enough to cover almost every restaurant in the state, not just those that serve fast food. The bill does not spell out what penalties an eatery would face for violating the law.

“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,” the bill states.

The chance that the bill will pass is doubtful. Although obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States, should lawmakers dictate who and where people eat? If you are someone that is overweight, would you like to be told where to eat?

Instead of telling folks where they can or can’t eat, why not educate them on healthy food choices? Why not recognize restaurants that serve healthy menu fare publically (i.e. through television, radio, newpapers, etc.)? The idea is catching on with establishments like Subway. Healthier menu choices such as mandarin oranges or side salads are popping up on fastfood menus.

To me, it is all about choice. If a motorcycle driver chooses to not wear a helmet and crashes/kills themself, there is no one else to blame. If a person KNOWS that eating highly processed/greasy foods are unhealthy for them and they choose to do it anyway, that is THEIR choice. To me, facing higher insurance rates or having to pay for a second airline seat is incentive enough to watch my weight. Not to mention living longer and having knees that like me.

This is just another ploy by the government to “babysit” the country. Just my .02.

5 Responses to “Proposed Law Bans Obese Restaurant Patrons?”

  1. BayAreaDM Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly on the choice thing – you are spot-on. There’s no way in it will pass. Maybe the government can offer incentives to healthy restaurants instead?

    However, the helmet law is a gray area. If a biker dies, chances are his or her brains are splattered against someone’s windshield. That traumatizes the other driver involved, no matter who’s fault it is.

  2. Shan Says:

    As we libertarians think: “If you only harm yourself, we don’t have a right to say anything”. However, if someone else is affected by your decision (i.e. driving 150 miles and hour and crash into another vehicle), then you will have hell to pay.

    As a “rational human being”, I KNOW that wearing my seatbelt is safe. I know that eating fried chicken and fries 3 times a day is going to make me as big as a house. I know that I should wear a helmet when on my bike. I know I should stay close to the speed limit.

    I think that most people would agree with these and do them. As adults, we have learned to make our own decisions. I don’t need the government to babysit me. I learned a long time ago what is right and what is wrong.

    I think a big problem with our country is people not taking responsibilities for their actions. It is easier to blame the “golden arches” for burning me with their pickle then to wait for it to cool. It is easier to blame those devilish fries for my cellulite then my lack of getting up off the couch.

    It seems like the government feels sorry for those “lost souls” that don’t know the difference between healthy and unhealthy. By saying: “You can’t have that cookie”, it is magically going to take the temptation away.

    I completely agree about patting establishments on the back that encourage healthy choices. Maybe they should start teaching health earlier in school? Maybe throw healthy foods into vending machines? Serving healthy lunches instead of ice cream and candy bars?

    It is all about choices and taking responsibility for our actions. It is always so much easier to let others make decisions for us. I just think that is the cowards way out. Grow up and think for ourselves? Nah! That would take too much effort…

  3. BayAreaDM Says:

    I’m not sure its all the government’s fault – the lawyers have to absorb some of the blame, along with the big businesses that will do ANYTHING to make a buck, even at the expense of its customers.

  4. Shan Says:

    Wait! Aren’t those the guys that take off the scaly suits before walking into a courtroom? Yeah, they have A LOT of blame on their shoulders too. 🙂

  5. Brotha Man Says:

    I am still trying to figure out how the message reaches the customer.

    I envision something like this:

    “Hey Fatty. Yeah you, Chubba Chubkins from Chub town. We don’t serve your kind here at the All You Can Stuff Cafe. At our all you can eat lard cafe we like only thin people cuz they don’t eats nothin!”

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