February 2, 2008

Don't feed the (obese) animals!

Sometimes even I think I might be too strident in trying to get restaurants to change their ways.

But today I realize I might be too timid.

USATODAY.com reports three legislators want to make it illegal for restaurants to serve obese customers in Mississippi. Now Mississppi has one of the worst obesity problems in America. And if restaurants continue to insist on supersizing all portions of calories and fat then the government will step in.

By resisting every attempt to reduce obesity (or even acknowledge they are part of the problem), restaurants are inviting criticism and regulation.

House Bill No. 282, which was introduced this month, says: 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. 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."

The proposal would allow health inspectors to yank the permit from any restaurant that "repeatedly" feeds extremely overweight customers.

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