Down in Mississippi -- one of the most obese states in the country -- three members of the House of Representatives have come up with what they believe is a solution to the obesity epidemic.
W.T. Mayhall, Jr. (R), John Read (R), and Bobby Shows (D) have drafted Bill number 282.
Its proposal? Make it illegal for state-licensed restaurants to serve obese patrons.
They are under the illusion that the Department of Health would not only agree with this idea, but also provide them with specific criteria to determine who falls into the obese category.
You can view the actual bill here.
There are so many problems with this, I don't even know where to start.
From a social standpoint, this is a terrible idea. An obese person can no longer be able to go out to dinner with friends or family?
While restaurants often serve mega-size portions loaded with calories, unhealthy fats, and sodium, they are not the direct cause of obesity.
Someone can never set foot in a restaurant and easily remain obese.
Supermarkets offer a plethora of unhealthy foods (donuts, ice cream, potato chips, frozen pizzas, candy bars) anyone can purchase and have available at their homes around the clock.
Add years of physical inactivity as well as no access to nutrition education and other resources, and you have the perfect breeding ground for obesity.
Remember, too, that obesity often has a strong psychological component behind it.
Food -- and the accompanying extra weight -- serves as a type of shield, or emotional security blanket, to hide behind.
Banning obese people from restaurants is absurd and does not tackle the real issues.