Health

Mississippi Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Healthy Eating Rules, State Has Highest Obesity Rate

| by Michael Allen

Mississippi has the highest obesity rate in the nation, reports USA Today.

But that didn't stop lawmakers from passing a bill that would ban any rules geared towards healthy eating in a state where 34.9 percent of the residents are 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight.

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Amazingly, the "unhealthy" bill is expected to be signed by Gov. Phil Bryant.

NPR reports:

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A bill now on the governor’s desk would bar counties and towns from enacting rules that require calorie counts to be posted, that cap portion sizes, or that keep toys out of kids’ meals. “The Anti-Bloomberg Bill” garnered wide bipartisan support in both chambers of the legislature in a state where one in three adults is obese, the highest rate in the nation.

The bill is expected to be signed by Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican. It was the subject of intense lobbying by groups including the restaurant association, the small business and beverage group, and the chicken farmers’ lobby.

Mike Cashion, executive director the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, says the bill is a direct reaction to Bloomberg-style government intervention in public health.

“There is really very clear evidence now that soft drinks are related to weight gain and obesity and, most certainly, diabetes,” Dr. Walter Willett, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health, told NBC News. “We are in the midst of an epidemic of diabetes and obesity. The evidence is very clear that soda consumption has a role in the epidemic.”

Source: NPR and USA Today