The difference is that the Mississippi Legislature is preparing, in essence, to codify the state’s fatness as a right of Southern, states’-rights pride.
Or is it stupidity?
In what some in Mississippi — the fattest state in America — are calling the “anti-Bloomberg bill,” lawmakers have passed a bill that says any law that restricts what people can eat or drink has to be approved by the Legislature.
And, as you’d guess, the Legislature in Jackson doesn’t plan to restrict anything — no food, no drink. Hence the “anti-Bloomberg” label that sarcastically references New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has attempted to limit the size of sugary drinks served in his city.
On Thursday, The New York Times highlighted this conversation between two lawmakers that was first carried by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger:
“Do you think immoderate use of a Coca-Cola is good for a man?” a lawmaker asked.
“I don’t see where it would kill him ... If you want to go eat 20 Big Macs, you can go eat 20 Big Macs.”
In other words, how dare the government — state or federal — tell people what to do, even if it’s good for their health. If Mississippians want to eat or drink themselves to death due to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, they have the right.
Hey, we get it — to a point: by law, adults can take care of themselves. But doesn’t it make sense for the government to help those who refuse to help themselves?
By and large, Mississippians have had decades of chances to adopt healthy eating habits. Like many Alabamians, they’ve failed at it, too.