Oh, Mississippi. Pride of the nation, you are. I know and love several Mississippians, but as a state? Well, you’re rapidly losing what little respect I had left for you.
Thanks go to Lindsay (and you should all be reading her anyway) for pointing out the Junkfood Science article about Mississippi House Bill 282. Sandy called Representative Mayhall to make sure this wasn’t a joke. It isn’t.
HOUSE BILL NO. 282
An act to prohibit certain food establishments from serving food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the state department of health; to direct the department to prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese and to provide those materials to the food establishments; to direct the department to monitor the food establishments for compliance with the provisions of this act; and for related purposes. Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Mississippi:
(1) The provisions of this section shall apply to any food establishment that is required to obtain a permit from the State Department of Health under Section 41-3-15(4)(f), that operates primarily in an enclosed facility and that has five (5) or more seats for customers.
(2) 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.
(3) The State Department of Health shall monitor the food establishments to which this section applies for compliance with the provisions of this section, and may revoke the permit of any food establishment that repeatedly violates the provisions of this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2008.
Y’all can feel free to email Representative Mayhall. I think he needs to hear from people in and out of Mississippi just what this bill means to them – for me it means possibly never being able to take my tourism dollars to Mississippi again when visiting my loved ones there. Plus, you know, the basic human dignity issues! RAR!
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