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Mississippi, the most obese state in the union, is banning Bloomberg-style portion control

AP/Rogelio V. Solis
During a recent visit from first lady Michelle Obama, children at a school in Mississippi are oppressed by a healthy lunch.
By Christopher Mims
MississippiPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

In the most obese state in the most obese country on the face of the earth in the history of the human race, legislators are busy making sure that no interventionist local politicians will ever have the power to limit access to obesogenic foodstuffs, or to force the disclosure  of the calorie count of menu items.

The text of “The Anti-Bloomberg Bill” (actual name) includes the following:

  • Bars counties and towns from passing laws requiring restaurants to post the calorie counts of food, as they must do in New York City.
  • Bars caps on portion sizes, a la Bloomberg’s attempt to ban large sodas that was just struck down by a judge.
  • Prevents rules that keep toys out of kids’ meals, such as McDonald’s Happy Meals.

The bill sailed through Mississippi’s House, with 50 to 1 in favor, and Senate, with a vote of 92-6, and it’s expected that Governor Phil Bryant will sign it. Lobbyists for the bill included the state Restaurant Association, and a coalition of agribusiness chicken farmers.

Forty-four percent of children in Mississippi are overweight or obese, as are seven in ten adults. And Mississippi may be the canary in the coal mine: Last year, doctors declared that obesity is now a bigger health crisis than hunger.

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