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The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Mississippi State RepresentativesW. T. Mayhall, Jr, Bobby Shows, and John Read. They get the award for sponsoring the following legislation.

An act to prohibit certain food establishments from serving food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the state department of health; to direct the department to prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese and to provide those materials to the food establishments; to direct the department to monitor the food establishments for compliance with the provisions of this act; and for related purposes.


(2) 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 after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management established under Section 41-101-1 or its successor. 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.

I guess MS restaurants will need a scale at the front door if this legislation became law. That would almost certainly eliminate fast food drive-thru lanes.

How about places that sell take out or deliver food? If Mayhall is so concerned about overweight people, why not put restrictions on what food supermarkets can sell to the overweight. No beef for you sir, you must eat salad for the next nine days. The cashier will tell people. Reminds me of jokes the comedian Robert Klein told about the guy at the beach who tells swimmers how long before they can enter the water after eating.

This legislation is impractical, dumb, meddling in people's lives, a unwanted distraction for the health department from more important concerns, you can just go down the list. That's why I name(by popular demand) Mississippi State Representatives W. T. Mayhall, Jr, Bobby Shows, and John Read today's Knuckleheads of the Day.


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Comments (13)

Maybe the first order of bu... (Below threshold)

Maybe the first order of business should be to
weigh each of these blowhards heads, and see how
much muddy water they contain.
Clue by four comes to mind for each of them.

I *still* say that their bi... (Below threshold)

I *still* say that their bill should go to a referendum, along with another declaring these guys legally too stupid to be fed. Voters could vote for either either, both, or none.

Wouldn't the referendum campaign be a gas? And wouldn't it send the perfect message to all other political posers that their thinly-veiled snobbery might actually backfire?

Fill in the blanks: The best defense is a ______ _______.

Let me be the first to appl... (Below threshold)

Let me be the first to apply for a job as an "Obese Policeman."

It's gotta be good right? On the Fed payroll, paid health care, paid vacations and good retirement pay.

What's not to like?

(Except it would take millions of new hires, all not obese, to watch each and every one of the MILLIONS of restaurants in the U.S.)

Hrmmm, just when I thought ... (Below threshold)
AZ Disgusted:

Hrmmm, just when I thought politicians couldn't get any dumber, they prove me wrong.

One of the MANY glaring objections to the insanity: Don't the obese need to eat sometime? Or are they proposing starvation until the government mandated weight is achieved?

I also suspect that this law would just do wonders for the tourist industry there; many travelers are on the heavy side, so, they get to visit that state and STARVE.

Don;t forget that many peop... (Below threshold)

Don;t forget that many people are on drugs to combat this or that and many of those drugs make one obese!

The sponsers of this bill should have their heads examined.

I wonder of these idiots are smokers and are tryign to create a backlash against the no smoking in resturant campaigns? (BTW: 2 totally different concepts.)

I am ashamed to say that th... (Below threshold)

I am ashamed to say that these politicians are from my state. It reminds me the of the saying "No one's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session"

Fat people should not be ba... (Below threshold)

Fat people should not be banned some foods! I read the same news on pluscupid.com. They should realise their unhealthy lifestyle is preventing them from enjoying life to the full - that should be motivation enough! Where will it end when we have to bribe people not to be greedy?

Would people have to weigh ... (Below threshold)

Would people have to weigh in at the door? and as someone above mentioned, how would you tell in a drive-thru? Also--what, exactly, is the definition of "obese"? We tend to picture someone 300 pounds or so as "obese," but I think it's much more restrictive than that--maybe even 25 pounds overweight. I could be wrong, but I know I was surprised when I did read what it was. I think there's a certain point when it becomes "morbidly obese."

jdgjtr: I feel your pain...... (Below threshold)

jdgjtr: I feel your pain...I'm here too...

I just wish this item were getting more local news coverage. Maybe national media will create a stir eventually and we can disconnect life-support from these idiots' political careers.

This is a defacto return to... (Below threshold)

This is a defacto return to segregation; obesity rates are much higher in the African American community, as high as 33%.
(See http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/498168 ).

Legislate our way out of a ... (Below threshold)

Legislate our way out of a mess. Never has worked, never will work. Well, maybe its REDUCED the smoking rate, but not eliminated it. Maybe its reduced DUI deaths, but not eliminated it. Etc.

Morbid obesity is a real problem; As is legal and illegal drug abuse. And living dangerous lifestyles that endanger self and others.

I got a great idea, MS. Lets eliminate the SUGAR subsidy. That would decrease government spending and make a stab at reducing obesity.

Whaddya think?

Hey wouldnt that be discrim... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Hey wouldnt that be discriminating against the obease by some liberal nut case?

The literal bill here is no... (Below threshold)

The literal bill here is not the point. This is performance art. It is designed to raise the issue by being so absurd that people, bloggers, etc. can't help but talk about it.

And its working and I submit this blog post and comments as evidence.

Here's a story that made it across the pond.

Mississippi is the most obese state in the country every year, and the cost is paid in chronic bad health, pre-mature death, and the obvious needless medical bills.

Good work, legislators!

Check out my running commentary on livable communities - the New American Village.


James Polk, Architect and Neighborhood Planner
Hattiesburg, Mississippi






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