Saturday, February 02, 2008

Stupidest Idea Ever?

Meet Mississippi House of Representative Republicans W. T. Mayhall Jr., John Read and Bobby Shows. These are the gentleman that yesterday submitted perhaps the stupidest idea I've ever seen regarding obesity in the form of House Bill 282.

How stupid?

So stupid I felt compelled to post on Saturday.

So what did their collective brain-trust come up with?

Well they've proposed that the State of Mississippi make it illegal for restaurants to serve folks who are technically definable as obese (utilizing a BMI of 30 as a cut off).

In Mississippi, the fattest State in America, that would be more than 30% of the population.

Any restaurant who failed to do so would risk having their restaurant license revoked.

While I'm all for a top down approach to providing consumers with more information (like Calories on menus, proper education in schools and national eating guidelines that actually address the issue of obesity), blind, hateful bias helps no one.

Well boys, hope you're ready for the onslaught, because a move that stupid is going to take the blogosphere and media by storm.

To read their bill in its entirety, click here.

UPDATE: (February 4th) Thanks to Paul here's another great quote on the matter. This one's from Morgan Downey, the Executive Vice President of the Obesity Society. He referred to Bill-282 as,

"the most ill-conceived plan to address a public health crisis ever proposed"
I don't disagree.

[Hat tip to my sister Michal who actually popped this story over to me before it had hit the airwaves]

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  1. I'm waiting for the restaurants to chime in on this one. Certainly the fast food chains are not going to stand to potentially lose 30% of their customers. McDonald's vs. The State of Mississippi, perhaps?

  2. Beauzeaux12:55 pm

    This reminds of my friend Billy Bob who moved from Oklahoma to Mississippi and thereby raised the average IQ in both places.

  3. Anonymous6:02 pm

    Will they have scales and a measuring tape in each restaurant to verify, or will it be just the judgement of the staff? (And yes, I say that sarcastically.)

    And if a person has a BMI of 19 or less, will they force food down their throats in case they are anorexic?

    Hendrix would have loved whatever these dudes have been smokin'!!

  4. What if the restaurants just serve better food? ;)

  5. Anonymous1:39 pm

    From the photo, it appears bachelor #2 won't be able to eat at those restaurants either!

  6. Anonymous11:13 am


    A bar must stop serving when a patron is intoxicated, pretty much for their own good (as well as for the public).

    A restaurant has to cut off an obese patron to help lengthen their life and cut down on unnecessary health-care costs for the rest of society?

    I'm gonna think about this one for a while. Get back to ya'.

    Harry, New York