Sunday, February 03, 2008

It's coming, I'm telling you

This may seem like a joke – and the Smoking Gun article claims that it'll be "dead on arrival" – but you're going to see more and more of these attempts to control how we eat:
Mississippi Pols Seek To Ban Fats

New bill would make it illegal for restaurants to serve the obese

FEBRUARY 1--Mississippi legislators this week introduced a bill that would make it illegal for state-licensed restaurants to serve obese patrons. Bill No. 282, a copy of which you'll find below, is the brainchild of three members of the state's House of Representatives, Republicans W. T. Mayhall, Jr. and John Read, and Democrat Bobby Shows. The bill, which is likely dead on arrival, proposes that the state's Department of Health establish weight criteria after consultation with Mississippi's Council on Obesity. It does not detail what penalties an eatery would face if its grub was served to someone with an excessive body mass index.

The bill (a copy is available at The Smoking Gun) directs the state health department to draw up "criteria for determining whether a person is obese", and the affected restaurants will be required to use these yet-to-be-established criteria in refusing to serve those it is forbidden to serve.

I fantasized about those criteria. Might there be face-saving loopholes for a fat guy like me that unwittingly walks into one of those Mississippi restaurants to purchase a meal? I mean, might I be permitted to have some celery sticks so that, to the other diners, it looks like I actually ate before packing up and leaving? Not that I'd leave a tip...

Will there be some sort of sliding caloric scale for what may be served to the marginally or somewhat obese? Might a slice of cheesecake be allowed to someone with a body mass index that's only 10% over the state norm?

Do you think that the proprietor or the waitress will brandish one of those pinchy things that are used to determine BMI and use it on everyone they suspect might be obese?

If you're one of those who think that these sorts of regulations are really for my own good, then I must part ways with you, dear reader. If you understand what I mean, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.

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