We’ve seen a lot of crazy obesity-related legal proposals, but this one takes the cake. (And the salad, and the dinner roll, and the entree…) Three Mississippi lawmakers have just introduced legislation to make it a crime for state-licensed restaurants to serve food to anyone deemed “obese.”
The bill, HB 282 (click here for the full text), would require the Department of Health to establish a weight limit for eating out. If the criteria are anything like federal formulas for “overweight” and “obese,” New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady—who is “overweight” according to the government’s calculation—could be barred from enjoying a post-Super Bowl supper in one of Mississippi’s restaurants.
So far the legislators have not revealed the specific penalties an eatery would face if caught serving a minor, er … a major. But even without specifics, the mere mention of a law like this is an affront to civil liberties and consumer freedom.
Over the years, a growing cabal of diet dictators have promoted a litany of crazy proposals to tax, legislate, and litigate away many food and beverage choices. But as we said earlier, this bill takes the cake. Literally. Despite being unfounded and tyrannical, HB 282 ignores the biggest contributor to the Mississippians’ poor health: physical inactivity. Mississippi ranks dead last in the United States for physical activity. Maybe lawmakers in Jackson should do something to get people moving again.
If this bill passes, be prepared to see a new sign in the windows of Mississippi eateries: “No shirt, no scale, no service.”