Friday, February 1, 2008

Mississippi Finds a Whole New Way to Show How Dumb It Is . . .

With much appreciation for the heads up to my pal Carrie, check THIS out!

For those who want the 5-cent recap, here is a summary . . . The fine, 3rd grade educated leadership of the dreadful state of Mississippi have actually moved legislation to the state-Sentate floor to prohibit eateries from serving the obese.

That's right - as of July 1, 2008 (if this becomes law) you will not be able to eat in an eatery with more than five chairs (it makes me think, regretably, about the rules about lunch counter seating rules in the 60s that lead to riot dogs, tear gas and cross burnings down-thar-Mississippi-weh!) if you have a BMI over 30. That's right, THIRTY. And restaurants will need scales when you walk in the door and a way of recording your BMI for their records.

Now, let's think about this - for just two wee, little seconds. I TOTALLY get why governments are trying to step in on food consumption. After all, the obesity crisis in our country is costing state and federal governments billions a year in long term care and there is a crisis for future work forces in certain professions a foot and everything else. The states DO need to try to take care of themselves and the rest of the population. Much like laws to limit the spread of communicable diseases, though, you can prevent the wrong pound of cure with the wrong ounce of precaution. This is just the wrong form of prevention.
First (and foremost) it is absurd that you can't eat in a restaurant because of your BMI. Think about all of those big, hulking football players for Ole' Miss. They all have BMIs over 30, I guarantee it but they are the PRIDE of that state for many folks who've never crossed its borders. Think about the moderately overweight (and in some cases UNDERWEIGHT) that happen to be short. They have BMIs over 30. Think about pregnant women. For the last part of pregnancy, even an otherwise "normal" weighted woman can easily get BMIed beyond 30 with her growing bun in her little oven. Think, finally, about every stereotyped good ole' boy in Mississippi.
I propose that if this law goes through the food service industry in Mississippi will fail. And fat people (like me) will still eat what they want, when they want, how they want. I would attribute very little of the weight I've carried in my life to time spent in a restaurant. Now time in my car, in a drive-thru, in a convinience store, at the food carts on the streets of DC, at my home, at the park, in my office, at a friend's house, etc. etc. etc. THAT is where my weight came from.
This is one of those laws - like "hands free cell phone laws" that are things elected officials do to try to show "leadership" and to raise state revenue for their pork barrel initiatives but that don't actually make a spot of difference in the real world. They just don't work to help anyone or change anything.
Why not take the same money and energy as law makers and get physical education back in schools? Start programs to work with parents to get them healthier and to get their kids healthier accordingly? Uh, how about just making laws to actually protect and serve people v. make one more cost and hassle for small business owners that will negatively impact their business?
In the meantime, at least the DUMMY that is proposing this legislation doesn't even think it stands a chance and perhaps the voice of sanity will once again whisper its way across the backwards South.

Oh and SPECIAL congratulations to the state of Missouri which is no longer the Stupidest State in Sean's Union for taking Gary's kid away from him because of his weight.
Enjoy your reign, Mississippi - I think it will be a while before someone knocks you off your stupid little perch but I'll be watching and ready when they do.

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