by Marion Nestle
Feb 4 2008

Mississippi does what?

So many people have sent me news about the proposed legislation in Mississippi to ban overweight people from eating in restaurants that I must say something about it. I thought it was a joke, but no such luck.  The bill truly exists.  Nobody expects it to get anywhere but I still think it’s bad public policy.  For one thing, I still remember lunch counter sit-ins during the civil rights movement, plenty of them in Mississippi.  For another, this won’t fix the environment to make it easier people to eat more healthfully.  Here are some alternative suggestions: How about requiring restaurants to give a price break for smaller portions or making smaller portions and healthy kids’ meals the default?

  • Excellent suggestion, Marion! The kid meals should be a smaller portion of the adult meal, and then there should be a “moderate” meal that is an in between size for people who prefer to eat less.

  • How about offering substitutions at the same price as the original item? I often get charged extra to substitute a salad for fries.

    Not sure about “healthier” kids meals – who defines healthy? If I want my kid to have a burger without the bun instead of a low-fat turkey sandwich, is that going to come with a premium?

  • Healthy Weight

    What about keeping the size of the chairs only slightly larger than would fit people at/near a healthy weight? e.g. Olive Garden has special chair wheeled in for people who would not be able to fit into these already over-sized chairs. With these, there are no arm rests. What is this type of accommodation really promoting? Greater profits? hmm.

  • Sheila

    They can’t be serious, their state governor is overweight. Do you think he would sign this bill?!

  • John

    These overweight people should not be banned. The should been seen as victims. They need help,but the way to give them help (education) is most difficult to do on a one to one basis, and FURTHERMORE, it is not the way that they are lured in to MacDonalds. Nobody goes around singing “You deserve a break today” to them. MacD’s does this via electronic media, and so should you/we. John MD