Obesity, nanny states and closing the barn buffet after the fat horses have bolted

Originally spotted at Environmental Economics: House Bill 282 from the Mississippi legislature.

(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.

So, to recap:

1) Restaurants can feed you shit until you become obese, and the State will do nothing to intervene, or fix the insane obeseogenic environment that prevails in the US,

2) Damage done, restaurants will stop feeding you.

3) Rather than legislate (if legislation was felt to be that necessary) in favour of, say, smaller portions (known to be a prime cause of obesity in the US), the State will also leave the environment in place in order to make more obese people,

4) Those obese people will, in turn, not get served.

Your tax dollars at work (I mean, if you live in Mississippi). You’ll note that the legislation also includes no mention of what to do about the socioeconomic gradient to the high-caloric diets people have. Me, I envisage a fat unemployed person (statistically likely to be a minority) with no car, unable to get to better nutrition and now not being served in the eateries that contributed to their obesity in the first place (although the mechanism of the obesity is left unchanged). I guess I’m just pessimistic, like that.


1 comment so far

  1. opit on

    Pessimistic ? I’m told a cynic is ‘someone who’s been around’. That do ?
    And the legislation ? Designed to give the appearance of action without the substance.
    ( Ever watch “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” ? Wonderful spoof on phony religiosity and politics : “Dance a little sidestep” )

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