Bill to ban restaurants serving obese people

Republican State Representative John Read of Gautier, Mississipi has proposed a law to prohibit restaurants from serving obese people. He says he doesn't expect the law to pass, but wrote the bill to make a statement. From the Associated Press:
"I was trying to shed a little light on the number one problem in Mississippi," said Republican Rep. John Read of Gautier, who acknowledges that at 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, he'd probably have a tough time under his own bill...

The state House Public Health Committee chairman, Democrat Steve Holland of Plantersville, said he is going to "shred" the bill.

"It is too oppressive for government to require a restaurant owner to police another human being from their own indiscretions," Holland said Monday.
Link (Thanks, Lindsay Tiemeyer!)


  1. “It is too oppressive for government to require a restaurant owner to police another human being from their own indiscretions,” Holland said Monday.

    For a Democrat in a state that recognizes dram-shop liability to say that is quite amusing.

  2. @#1 long-orange-arms: Yes, several major differences pop out to me.

    1) It’s easier to tell if someone is drunk than it is to tell if they qualify as obese. Body image and body standards are highly subjective. Compare, in the extreme cases, the standards of a teenaged girl aggressively pursuing the extremely thin ideal vs that of a polynesian woman (where so many polynesian cultures value obesity). For less extreme examples, compare the standards of an average American vs a French or Australian tourist.

    2) Alcohol is not required for a body to function. Food is. I don’t care if I’m fat, if I’m traveling through this state I don’t have a kitchen. I have nowhere to get prepared food. Yes, I can pack sandwiches, but this leads me to point 3…

    3) The problem is not restaurant food. The problem is restaurant PORTION SIZES (which impact everyone, not just fat people) and JUNK FAST FOOD (which again, isn’t good for anyone).

    4) Alcohol is intoxicating and very quickly negatively impacts your judgement of how drunk you are and how much more you can drink. Food does not have this kind of positive feedback loop – the worst you can say is that some obese people have a depressed awareness of being full (not all, either, it’s one hell of a generalization).

    Having eaten a donut 2 hours ago doesn’t have much of an impact on whether I want lunch NOW despite not needing it – there’s weeks, months, or years of food abuse leading to my going and eating a big lunch after eating snacks all morning.

  3. Must be nice that the number one problem in his state is overeating. We have a thing called The Economy and another thing called Iraq that concerns us in Oregon.

  4. Against all odds, imagine that this passes, then some other possibly unrelated bill to pass that would redefine a food serving establishment and end up banning serving food to an obese person in your own home. I can just imagine the police using heat detecting cameras and busting down the door to keep that next home-made cheeseburger out of my, I mean, a citizen’s mouth.

    Introducing a bill to make a statement can be dangerous. What is the statement being made? That we need government to regulate even more individual public interactions? Will there be a government contract for rotund-o-meters? Will every restaurant need a bouncer, and will they be able to eat anything during their lunch break? Who gets the punishment for the ‘crime’, the obese or the obese-er?

    This comes off as a joke. I’m glad there aren’t any other legislative issues affecting the Mississippi Public Health and Human Services committee.

    (also, two P in Mississippi)

  5. Another issue:

    5) While eating food is often social activity, the way drinking is often a social activity, we don’t have the same stigma about eating alone that we have about drinking alone. If someone isn’t going to be allowed to eat out, they’re just going to eat at home and eat too much there, too.

    Not giving someone alcohol at a bar doesn’t have the same kind of social stigma against drinking alone to back it up, and stopping liquor stores from selling to drunks is NOT the equivalent of stopping restaurants from selling to fat people.

    Stopping ALL STORES EVERYWHERE from selling to fat people is the same thing. Of course, that’s a death sentence – they’re going to die of malnutrition before they slim down. There’s a reason why you need to be on medical supervision for a basically-zero-calorie starvation diet.

  6. He says he doesn’t expect the law to pass, but wrote the bill to make a statement.

    I think this says it all. These people don’t even understand what their job is, let alone the affect that ever-growing mountains of bad legislation and “message” pandering have on our justice system.

  7. I appreciate toestubber’s comment. If I was in Mr. Read’s district I’d want to ask him why he was wasting time with legislation that nobody want’s to actually pass, just to teach us all something. I’m sure they actually have real problems to deal with there.

  8. This is about bankruptcy. The obesity epidemic is going to destroy the American medical system. There are/will be so many fat people with problems like diabetes and cardiac issues that the system will fail to serve anybody. Take cover, it’s coming.

  9. way to waste taxpayer money, Mississippi. Do we really need our elected officials coming up with ideas for bills to knock around “to make a statement”?

    And I’d like to give a fellow Oregonian shout out to frankstendal.

  10. So then overweight chefs would be banned from trying their food in their own restaurants? Hey if people want to eat they are going to eat, just the same as if people are going to drink they are going to simply move on to the next bar until someone lets them in. But that’s not the point.

    The most interesting statement in this article to me is,”It is too oppressive for government to require a restaurant owner to police another human being from their own indiscretions,” Well this is interesting because we already do have these kinds of oppressive individual indiscretion laws. No smoking in bars, you must wear your seatbelt and a helmet on a bike. I suppose that these issues still require a police officer to make the final judgements; but how about the law in Seattle that puts the weight on the business owner at night club to police the people who may or may not be on drugs? Can we really equate being obese with being on drugs?

    I suppose this goes back to whether or not being obese is an disease in the same way that addiction is considered a disease. What point exactly is the Representative trying to highlight? That obese people should not be able to go into restaurants or that the government has the ability to create laws that will prevent freedom by protecting or providing security from the very freedom that people take for granted such as going to a restaurant by taking advantage of public fear or confusion?

  11. certron: “This comes off as a joke.”

    Yes, and not a funny one. The real issue here is not regulation, but liability. Remember years ago in the midst of the tobacco litigation how everyone was yukking it up, saying “what’s next, suing food manufacturers because people are fat?” Well, we’re almost there. I don’t think it would extend to social-host liability like with alcohol, because the pockets aren’t deep enough, but restaurants might be in trouble, especially when they are then sued for discrimination for refusing to serve obese people.

  12. The government in no way should be telling people what they can and can’t do with their bodies…Providing they are of legal age.

    The healthcare industry is getting broken by people needing healthcare? That’s backwards thinking…the healthcare industry is already broken…

    And no, government officials should not be wasting our time this crap…save you messages and get some work done.


  13. Yet another distinction to add the the rebuttal of #1, and probably the most important of all:

    6) Consumption of alcohol in substantial amounts presents immediate danger to those around the consumer in the form of lack of judgement and coordination, especially when driving. Consumption of food does not present an immediate threat.

  14. When there is a disjunct between how things are and how we would like then to be, best to go with how things are. No amount of hand wringing,accusations, lynchings and gunfire is going to create doctors, nurses,beds, equipment and supplies when what is available is all used up. Millions of fat people needing more care than if they were not fat is a fact. A fact independent of their personal rights to be fat.

    I understand most doctors offices do not even have scales that go over 300 pounds. Nor do they have examination tables wide enough. Further, many medical procedures are skipped if the patient is morbidly obese.

    Health care means care of people’s health. Stopping them from getting fat is part of that. Just like drug addiction there must be education, prevention,intervention and last most,enforcement.

  15. glimmerbee,
    There is a reason states pass “oppressive individual indiscretion laws.” It is because when people seem to be putting themselves at risk, they are actually putting others at financial risk and not themselves. When they cause harm to themselves by exercising their (in)discretion by not wearing a seatbelt, e.g., they are entitled to medical care, the cost of which will be borne by the hospital or insurance company. This is a classic example of the welfare state leading to the nanny state.

  16. Freedom means the ability to eat yourself to death if you want to.

    It also means the rest of us shouldn’t be obligated to pay for your medical care or burial.

    Something about this law grosses me out, and I’m not that fat… yet.

  17. This is about bankruptcy.

    It’s a race to see if we run out of health care resources before we run out of food. Although I don’t see restaurants turning the obese away at the door, I would like to tell a story.

    We had a patient once, 50ish, no health problems that weren’t caused by obesity, about 4′-10″ and weighing north of 400 lbs. The State of California, by which I mean my taxes, paid someone to stay at her house to wipe her ass because she couldn’t reach it. Seriously.

    1. I’m a nurse. One of my recent patients is so fat that the state is paying someone to stay with him to feed him even more. He wanted me to feed him and I pointed out that if he really wanted to eat he’d figure out how to do so. Amazingly (sarcasm intended) he did so.

      IMO we spend way too much money enabling obesity. Get too fat to breath during sleep? Society will get you a CPAP so you can get even fatter. Get too fat to walk? Not a problem. We’ll buy you a motorized wheelchair.

      Obese people have been shown in scientific studies to lie about their calorie intake claiming to eat much less than they do. With rare exceptions obesity is a alternative lifestyle choice.

  18. What an utterly ridiculous proposal for a law.

    First of all, it wouldn’t stop fat people from eating unhealthy food. In fact, it would probably encourage them to order things like pizza that can be delivered.

    Second of all, it would be horrible for the Mississippi economy. If obesity is as prevalent as this lawmaker claims, then restaurants are going to lose a big old chunk of their customers very quickly.

    Plus fat hatred is dumb.

  19. play the fat-hate card and I’ll trump that with the tough-love finesse.

    Is it ethical to treat the mentally ill against their will?

    Is voluntary morbid obesity a form of insanity?

  20. I love how it’s always the “fat people” who are at fault for eating too much. They are visually easy targets, and society tells us that’s ugly, so we want to clean up the mess. Why are we not targeting the food companies that make processed food loaded in calories, salt, fats and chemicals? Why are we not after the advertisers that push cheap and easy food on us when we’re tired? Please go after the people that want you to eat fast food, frozen pizza, and microwave dinners, then perhaps we’ll have less fat people in the world.

  21. Please go after the people that want you to eat fast food, frozen pizza, and microwave dinners, then perhaps we’ll have less fat people in the world.

    I was rather hoping that we were headed toward people taking complete personal responsibility for their own lives. What next? Conservatorships?

  22. I’m all for that. Junk food makers are heroin dealers.

    I would like to hear from some fat people. I don’t mince euphemisms, no insult intended.

  23. The average meal served at McDonald’s is far more healthy today than it was 20 years ago, when nothing on the menu wasn’t deep fried fatty meat.

    There is plenty of convenient, reasonably-priced, healthy food out there being pushed heavily by advertisers. So the dramatic increase in obesity in the past 20 years in the United States and Canada must have something more to it than the eeevil fast food industry and their manipulative advertising, which never seems to work as well for selling healthy food as it does for junk.

    Maybe demand comes before supply.

  24. Are you guys SERIOUS with the whole “running out of resources” thing? You do realize that we have a little thing called capitalism in this country, right?

    The more fat people there are, the more hospitals will need supplies to care for those fat people. You’ve got that right. But there’s no WAY we’ll run out of resources for those folks. Companies can make big bucks producing products to accommodate fat people, and if there’s a big demand for those products, companies hoping to make money will supply them.

    Money on the other hand…

    When the fat people use those resources, they (or their insurance companies) are paying for it. That’s how bills work: You pay for what you use. It’s not as if the hospitals are giving this stuff out for free. They get paid, and they make plenty of money (to buy more stuff to accommodate fat people). Again, the hospitals are not in danger.

    The problem is not running out of resources. The problem is that the resources are expensive. They’re expensive because of things like doctor kickbacks for using more expensive products/prescribing more expensive medicine, insurance companies forcing extra testing or not providing it when it’s needed (so you get sicker and need more expensive tests later when you’re closer to death), ridiculous malpractice suits due to people getting angry over the natural death of a loved one. Those are the real problems.

  25. Borrowing a page from Jonathan Swift, maybe we should just eat the fat people. Problem solved.

  26. an interesting economic analysis. How will poor, fat people live? I understand there are a lot of them.

  27. So the dramatic increase in obesity in the past 20 years in the United States and Canada must have something more to it than the eeevil fast food industry…

    Yeah. Like the health care industry. Remember margarine? The high-carb diet? The percentage of obese people remained constant (given a famine or plague now and then) throughout history, until about thirty years ago. Bad health care advice is the number one culprit. Probably followed by estrogenation associated with environmental pollutants.

  28. @#11 This is not about bankruptcy. Apparently neither you nor this particular Mississippi rep, have PLOS medicine in your RSS feed.

    See the recent paper by van Baal et al. which merely confirms any of a number of studies on this subject.
    Obesity and smoking are both net cost savings for the health care system. Skinny people live longer and by doing so suck up more resources.

    This is simply about which form of bigotry you find acceptable.

  29. Takuan said, This is about bankruptcy. The obesity epidemic is going to destroy the American medical system. There are/will be so many fat people with problems like diabetes and cardiac issues that the system will fail to serve anybody. Take cover, it’s coming.

    Speaking as a non-obese diabetic, I could take issue with your statement, but instead I’ll simply admit that my condition, which is well controlled by diet, exercise, and light medication, is under control because I made a conscious decision to take care of myself and not let things get any worse (i.e., insulin dependence, blindness, kidney failure, amputation, or any one of a gazillion other things for which diabetics are at a higher risk). To put it another way, my health is to a great extent under my control. Not everyone is that fortunate, or (tell the truth and shame the devil) that willing to assume responsibility.

    I agree with whoever said that this will probably only encourage obese people to get takeout or delivery. It really doesn’t address the true issue. People are eating terribly, and no amount of legislation will fix that. At its simplest essence, this bill is a form of discrimination, and a pretty ugly one. Fast (and unhealthy) food exists because people want it. Supply and demand. No one is forcing anyone to eat restaurant food.

    I’ve heard it said before that the US is the only country with poor fat people.

  30. @#32 Yes, we have guns, but luckily we – much like mississippi politicians – only use them to “send a message”.

  31. well, it’s all moot. When the next incumbent realizes just how utterly broke the country is, there will be no programs for anything or anybody.

  32. I’ve heard it said before that the US is the only country with poor fat people.

    It’s important to realize that many, if not most, obese people in the US are actually anorexic. They may be fat, but they’re nutritionally starved. That might even be a contributing factor in weight gain. Your body keeps telling you to eat because you’re not getting what you need, so you keep eating the styrofoam that we refer to as food.

  33. Obesity and smoking are both net cost savings for the health care system. Skinny people live longer and by doing so suck up more resources.

    That is the funniest thing I’ve read all day–God I hope the humor is intentional.

    Why treat a headache with aspirin or ibuprofen when a 9mm. round to the brainpan will not only stop the headache but will prevent it from ever returning–for a fraction of the cost! And why waste money feeding your baby formula or breast milk: they’ll just drink more and more and cause a great strain on a family’s resources. A single bottle of arsenic will save a family literally hundreds of dollars.

  34. play the fat-hate card and I’ll trump that with the tough-love finesse.

    I appreciate the fact that you are looking at it from a tough-love perspective, rather than a “eww fat people!” perspective, but I think there’s something to be said about the fact that not every fat person is unhealthy.

    Yes, there are definitely lots of people whose obesity negatively affects their health, but there are probably just as many people who are fat, healthy, and can’t do anything about their weight.

    I myself am a skinny bitch, but I know that no matter what I do – eat healthy, or eat junk food, exercise a lot, or sit on my couch all day – my weight does not change by more than three pounds or so. My body type dictates my weight, rather than the other way around.

    I also know that my sister eats way healthier than I do and exercises probably twice or three times as much as I do, but still weighs thirty pounds more than I do. My sister is healthier than I am, but also fatter. Granted, she is not at the point where Mississippi restaurants would deny her service, but there is no reason to automatically assume that fat people are unhealthier than you and I.

  35. <>Pls g ftr th ppl tht wnt y t t fst fd, frzn pzz, nd mcrwv dnnrs, thn prhps w’ll hv lss ft ppl n th wrld.

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  36. @#40, I think you’re misreading what Jinglefritz (@#35) wrote. It was clearly a response to the argument that obesity (or smoking) are a “burden on the healthcare system,” not an economic argument in favor of unhealthy behavior. Your knee jerked up a little, there.

  37. I also know that my sister eats way healthier than I do…

    Give details. You’d be surprised what people think is healthy that is obesifying.

  38. NE2d: you completely missed the point, and apparently the paper I referenced. PLOS stands for public library of science. The peer reviewed scientific papers are free to read. van Baal et al
    PLOS Medicine 2008 right on the front page. There are lots of arguments against obesity, but evil fat people picking your pocket by being sick is not one of them.

  39. Jinglefritz , February 5, 2008 4:31 PM

    NE2d: you completely missed the point, and apparently the paper I referenced.

    I didn’t read the paper itself, but I did read the AP article about it and I get the point, viz. that it is a misconception that preventing obesity will decrease the burden on health care providers. In other words, because they early, obese people are cheaper to care for in the long run. I don’t see how this is very different from the absurd examples I gave.

  40. @#3 Gss wht? dn’t gr wth y!

    1) bs s bs. ts nt lk syng ft, r gly, t’s hlth rsk. lthgh myb thy shld hv cmplsry chlstrl nd bld prssr chcks t th drs f LL rstrnts jst t b sr. Myb.

    2) XCSSV mnts f fd R NT rqrd fr bdly fnctn. Myb th rstrnt cn hv spcl ftty nly mn fr mrgncs .. ft htchhkrs pssng thrgh lt t nght…

    3) dn’t thnk ts rlly th sz tht mttrs, ts th cntnt. nd ls th frqncy tht y t t. nd ls rn’t rstrnt prtns gnrlly TNY? Thy r whr lv nywy…

    4) Ft ppl lrdy hv mprd jdgmnt. H!

    k tht’s ll by

  41. #45, I don’t know that I could give you particularly precise details, as I don’t usually eat meals with my sister. For a while, though, we were having lunch together twice a week, and she would have a salad and Diet Coke (which isn’t “healthy” per se, but which doesn’t contribute to obesity as far as I know) while I would have pizza and sugary sugary delicious juice. She monitors everything she eats and counts the calories in all her food, even if she has to go online before we go to a restaurant to find out how many calories there are likely to be in what she wants to order.

    Personally, if maintaining my current weight required the level of vigilance my sister applies to her eating habits, I’d weigh much more. There is definitely a life-enjoyment trade-off for me. I’d rather enjoy my food non-obsessively (but moderately healthily) than be very thin. I just happen to be able to do both because of the way I’m built.

    I’m not denying that there are some people who become obese through bad eating habits and lack of exercise, and that obesity can have negative effects on people’s health. It’s just that I think you have to examine it on a case-by-case basis, which makes a sweeping state-wide law ridiculous. Not that I think even lazy unhealthy fatties should be denied restaurant access, but a law like that would just be especially ludicrous because it would be impossible to tell which fatties were lazy/unhealthy, and which weren’t.

  42. She monitors everything she eats and counts the calories in all her food, even if she has to go online before we go to a restaurant to find out how many calories there are likely to be in what she wants to order.

    Increased insulin production is key in depositing fat. Stress can certainly increase insulin. I’m convinced that worrying about what you eat and viewing food as poisonous is much worse for your health than what you actually put in your mouth. It sounds like she has a bit of an eating disorder if she’s researching restaurant menu calories online. Just a thought.

  43. I’m convinced that worrying about what you eat and viewing food as poisonous is much worse for your health than what you actually put in your mouth.

    I totally agree. Then we go and build up so much social stigma around being fat that naturally heavier people can’t help but stress out about what they eat, and then where does that get them? Wouldn’t passing legal judgment on fat people by banning them from Mississippi restaurants only make things worse by stressing them out about their weight?

  44. How do Mississippians get fat? Easy. There’s no healthy food to be found there. The local restaurants all think that ketchup is a vegetable. The local conception of a salad is a few anemic iceberg lettuce leaves, smothered in ranch dressing. Everything is fried and greasy and washed down with gallons of high-fructose corn syrup. Of course they get fat – why wouldn’t they? Anyone would get fat on that kind of diet.

    Instead of passing oppressive laws that accomplish nothing, why not subsidize restaurant owners willing to serve actual food instead of greasy junk? Why not encourage supermarket owners to get healthier, and tastier, fare in their stores? People eat what is in front of them; give them healthier options and they’ll eat healthy.

    And quite honestly, this is not even “nanny state” legislation – it’s dictatorship, pure and simple. A nanny state, at least, tries to provide services to its citizens. There is no service aspect involved in banning fat people from restaurants.

  45. If you are seriously proposing teaching people not to eat garbage, let me know how so I can apply it elsewhere.

  46. Just get off your ass once in a while. Geez, I eat like a pig, but I work out all the time to work it off.

    A sure sign you are too fat: You can’t even walk DOWN the escalator. You stand there when all you have to do is move your foot 12 inches forward and let it drop.

    Get out of your car and walk!

  47. They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
    Martin Niemöller

    I think someone has forgotten what happens when start singling people out. Instead of not feeding people, maybe we should focus on what is being fed to us. Attack the menu and not the human being.

  48. A) Over-eating is considerably NOT the only cause of obesity

    B) Fatness is, as has been said in previous responses, very subjective. I put myself as an example: I’m a woman, size 12 – some have said I’m average weight, some have said I’m a couple notches above average weight, and some have called me outright fat. So my ability to order a sandwich for lunch would be dependent on who’s looking at me from behind the counter that day?

    C) Way to screw off on the job, John! You’ve certainly proven a point: You should never have been elected.

    D) Oregon! Woo!

  49. What, now we can’t say: You’ll get cancer if you do that – don’t DO that!

    I don’t see how that Niemoller quote is applicable, #59. Nobody’s coming AFTER the obese – they are saying it’s unhealthy and unacceptable. Social pressure is NOT the Nazis killing Jews.

  50. Traveling consultants have little choice but to eat out.

    Also, are you going to have everyone compute their BMI upon entering the restaurant?

    Also, for some it is a genetic disorder.

  51. The Neimoller quote may be a bit melodramatic for the situation, but it seems pretty applicable to me. No one’s saying social pressure is exactly equivalent to Nazis killing Jews, because obviously it’s not. Lor Soong is just drawing a parallel about singling people out.

    Telling fat people they can’t eat in restaurants is coming after them. It’s not coming after them to atrociously kill them, but it’s coming after them nonetheless. It’s deciding their bodies are unacceptable, even when their bodies are often something they have very little control over. It’s almost like saying people with blue eyes should be banned from restaurants. It’s a genetic trait, and sure you could go to a ridiculous effort to change that by getting colored contacts or something, but what’s the point if you’re not hurting anyone else?

    I know people are making the argument that obesity does hurt the non-obese by affecting health care costs. But if you’re against obesity purely for the way it economically affects the non-obese, then you should be wholeheartedly against this bill, which would eliminate tons of business from any restaurant with more than five seats, and would be quite bad economically for the non-obese.

  52. Just to throw another turd in the punchbowl that is this thread, what about the woman who sued the dairy industry because her father ate a lot of butter and died of coronary artery disease? Serving liquor to a drunk person or a known alcoholic is a slam dunk lawsuit. What about serving fettuccine Alfredo to a gasping, pickwickian diner?

  53. It’s not a genetic trait, though. It’s eating more than you use. There MAY be genetic traits that lead to a propensity to obesity, but it still requires stuffing your face and not moving around.

    That Niemoeller quote IS about Nazis killing the Jews. We shouldn’t look in disgust at anyone picking their nose or farting in public either?? We’re going into a bunch of poo flinging monkeys, then.

    Social pressure is IMPORTANT in a society. Sad, but true.

  54. #62 Moon: I don’t see how that Niemoller quote is applicable, #59

    Of course it’s applicable. Have you not heard of Godwin’s law?

  55. Yes. Letting fat people eat in public is exactly like becoming a bunch of poo-flinging monkeys. That is a totally apt comparison. I’m glad we could come to this agreement.

  56. # 52 and # 53 – Finding out nutritional information before going to a restaurant helps you make smarter food choices. For anyone trying to lose weight it is a GOOD idea – and one that is recommended by weight watchers.

    For example – you would think that ordering a salad from Wendy’s would be a good option, no? By reading the nutritional info you will find out that many of Wendy’s salads have MORE fat and calories than some of their other menu items.

    It’s not about viewing food as poisonous, it’s about making an informed choice.

  57. That’s what happens when society breaks down – people turn into poo-flinging monkeys!!!

    Sad, but true!


  58. he obesity epidemic is going to destroy the American medical system. There are/will be so many fat people with problems like diabetes and cardiac issues that the system will fail to serve anybody. Take cover, it’s coming.

    I call BS. Heart disease isn’t a tax on the medical system; people living ’till they’re 100 are a tax on the medical system. They’re the ones that collect Medicaid, Social Security (okay, that’s not really a “medical system” thing) for years, and they’re the ones that keep going in for mammograms/prostate exams (which only result in a net savings for the medical companies if the person develops cancer. It’s like insurance for insurance companies, except they really should know better), and the ones that end up in the nursing homes forever.

    People dying early of health complications is *good* for the medical system (in that it deals in more $$). Same deal with smoking, actually.

    So quit with the panic-mongering and do something productive. Like actually support the reduction of the obesity epidemic for the sake of the people suffering, not your own wallet.

  59. There obesity epidemic that centers around middle America began in the 1980s when the Federal government declared war on fatty foods, so the entire Food Industry switched to refined carbohydrates instead of eggs, meat, sausage, cheese, etc. Guess what? Refined carbohydrates make you fat. It was all based on Dr. Evil (Ancil Keys at the UofMN who convinced everybody in science and medicine and government that FAT and CHOLESTEROL caused heart attacks). Guess what? They don’t. Refined carbohydrates, especially Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup, both of which contain 50% fructose, which the liver converts directly to fat instead, while the sucrose (the other 50%) raises insulin to the point that our fat cells start storing as much fat as possible. Sugar is in fact addicting, too, so it can be hard to stop eating junk food that is chock full of it. A whole bag of chips, or a whole bag of popped corn at a movie is 1100 calories, the equivalent calories in 15 slices of cheese. Which can you imagine eating to fullness during a two hour movie? But the cheese will not used as fuel and not make you fat, whereas the popcorn will. The old myth that “a calorie is a calorie is a calorie” turns out to be just that, a myth, as in UTTERLY MISTAKEN.

    The science is in on all of this, but does the fact that the largest donor for Harvard’s Nutrition Center building was General Foods (makers of Tang and sugar cereals)? Or that the Sugar Industry pays for most current pamphlet campaigns as well as research on nutrition?

    This is all spelled out in ‘Good Calories/Bad Calories’ of 2007, which is not a light read, but more like a 500 page degree in the history of nutrition science (which turns out to have been very bad science indeed!!!) which was in bed with both the American Heart Assoc., the Government (food pyramid says eat pasta and white bread in huge amounts!), The American Diabetes Assoc., and the American Medical Association.

    Do doctors want a perfectly healthy population? Remember when they tried to ban Vitamin C?

    The science vindicates the Atkin’s diet, not just as a diet, but as a normal diet, but after over a $ billion in massive studies, it has not been studied by good science. This sounds like ranting conspiracy theory. It is, for that’s what it was. A conspiracy of East Coast “science” and government to support the sugar industry who had more money than the traditional farming industry, by far. We have been lied to. It is hunger and hormones caused by the TYPE of calories we eat that determine “Metabolic Syndrome X” (which eventually leads to obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and even cancer and Alzheimer’s).

    Basically, what is new in our world since days of old is one thing: REFINED CARBOHYDRATES that cause the body of any omnivore mammal like humans to get fat really fast and which also prevents us from losing fat when we exercise, because only refined carbohydrates raise insulin levels so high that it makes fat cells suck up dietary fat, carbs, and protein and NEVER LET IT GO. After you exercise, you get hungry, so you eat a “low fat” diet, full of carbohydrates, so again your insulin goes up and you start getting fatter.

    If you REDUCE PORTION SIZE? Your body’s metabolism and physical urge to be active rapidly go into starvation mode, especially if you are eating a “low fat” (= high carb) diet, and once you stop the diet you have primed your body to binge, explaining the fact that DIETS MAKE MOST PEOPLE FATTER, long term, not to mention creating stretch marks and unfirm breasts and nipple definition as the skin is repeatedly sketched and loosened. You can diet for a few weeks or months, but can you live the rest of your life hungry?

    Did you know that a nice juicy steak contains mainly olive oil as it’s main fat, literally, as in oleic acid, and that most of it’s “saturated” fat is stearic acid (what candles are made of) which our body converts to oleic acid as well. This means red meat is very heart healthy since it raises LDL (“good cholesterol”).

    What is not known very well is the effects of alcohol quantity and how alcohol effects obesity (since it is not burned as a fuel as much as processes as a toxin in the liver, and though it shuts down fat burning, it also reduces the insulin spikes caused by carbs).

    Obesity in genetically healthy people is mostly a hormonally regulated phenomena, not a disorder of the mind or even of the brain. The *types* of food you eat, not the amount, have the lion’s share of effect on whether to put on excess weight or not. Blame the food not the will of the person, for a strong will in sticking to a calorie-restricted diet wrecks havoc with that person’s endocrine (hormonal) system that a year later, leaves them even fatter, after leaving them food obsessed and very lethargic for a season.

    Eggs, meat, cheese, dairy (but not sugared yoghurt or ice cream), whole grains in moderation, green vegetables, avocados, some alcohol (but not sangria or other sugar-filled drinks), bacon (!), some sausage (may contain scary junk though), small amounts of unsweetened tomatoes or tomato sauces, or anything else that doesn’t cause insulin to store fat in fat cells and then make us hungrier much sooner than traditional foods do.

    Bad foods that fat people eat at restaurants: low fat diet foods that make you fat, or fatty foods COMBINED WITH INSULIN SPIKING REFINED CARBOHYDRATES AND NUTRITIONLESS POTATOES. Fats without such hormonally unnatural carbohydrates are not fattening because the body, if for a second or two you can suspend disbelief, is a highly self-regulating system with regards to temperature, sleep-cycles, sex drive, emergency readiness, and body weight.

    There is a lot more information. I was trained in hard science chemistry and biochemistry, not in the soft politically connected science of nutrition, so I’ve had to pour through books on such topics, and there is are huge divides between the hard science of metabolism and hormonal pathways, chronic disease (“diseases of civilization”), and the anecdotal sciences of clinical practice (your doctor), the dogmatic-pseudo-science of nutrition, and finally, most interestingly the non-sciences of diet and fitness practices.

    Take a look at for instance, for real before/after pictures.

    There is some possibility that RESISTANCE training, the type that makes your muscles really hurt later, and/or HIIT (“high intensity interval training”) are forms of non-aerobic exercise that really do burn fat. The problem with normal aerobic exercise doesn’t burn many calories (a 45 minute jog around Central Park is 7 miles and burns about as many calories as a single can of Classic Coke) and then makes you reach for the low-fat (fattening and hunger producing) carbohydrate snacks that your doctor and the government LIE to you are both healthy and non-fattening.

    – Nik (PhD etc. in Organic Chemistry and nanotechnology from Columbia/Harvard)

  60. Fatness is subjective. Obesity isn’t. Obesity is calculated from height and weight. The only subjective part of the standard is the “normal” designation, which has increased as people become heavier on average.

    Some fat advocates say that body builders can be considered obese according to BMI, so we should discard the standard. Well, how many Americans do you think are bodybuilders? Is the massive surge in obesity rates due to a global increase in bodybuilding? Even if it were, would that account for obesity in women, who rarely put on muscle like male bodybuilders? Could enormous breasts even account for the disproportionate increase in weight relative to height?

    Claims against BMI are baseless and should be ignored.

    However, even if one were to acknowledge the specious argument that bodybuilders would be effected by this law aimed at the overeating obese, one has to wonder…why would a bodybuilder be eating fast food in the first place? People don’t achieve amazing physical feats by eating that crap. If there were any reaction from bodybuilders at all, they would thank us for removing the temptation.

  61. Nik from NYC,

    Many excellent points, but very dangerous to diss Tang on BoingBoing. Did you know that Tang is the drink that astronauts drink?

  62. Ya know… after reading comment after comment comparing the role of food in this topic to alcohol, tobacco or drugs I’m left wondering- what ever happened to personal freedom? It’s OK to take this away… but don’t you dare threaten my deep-fried twinkie? What crap…

    If I choose to eat greasy, fatty food until my heart ruptures because it can’t handle the stress of forcing blood through my clotted arteries, or if I choose to smoke cigarettes until I dislodge a chunk of lung every time I cough, or stick a needle in my arm until I look like a Haitian VooDoo doll it should make no difference to the Government… Or anyone else with no vested interest in keeping me alive…

    None… at all… At least not until my actions impact the life of another.

    The fact that politicians are even toying with legislation such as this proves that they are running out of work to do.

    I mean- seeing as how it is the job of Politicians to enact laws that are of value to our society and to keep us all safe, sound and secure and legislation such as this does not fit any of those criteria. Well, then it stands to reason that much like in the real world, when a business starts running out of work to do they typically start laying people off, also known as “downsizing”…

    That being said, I think people reading this (as if people read what I write) can fill in the blanks and continue this internally…

    And for the record… the problem with fast food IS NOT portion sizes. Just because it is on your plate does not mean you have to eat it. And the last time I was in line at a fast food counter behind an “obese” person, they didn’t call it quits with a “#2, Medium, Extra Cheese, No Tomato.”

    It’s usually closer to “Can I get a #2, x-tra large, extra cheese- I’m also gonna need a McRib, a 6 piece chicken nugget- extra sauce and 2 apple pies… Oh, and can I get that with a Diet Coke?”

    Overall, my point being, you do not know what is best for me… only I do. I would never dictate to another person how to live their life simply because I know that I simply will not tolerate someone attempting to do the same to mine. For all I know this life is the only time that I have granted to me and I’ll be damned if I’ll allow anyone to compromise that in any shape form or fashion.

  63. BRAVO! Nik. You are 100% correct. I’d like to add one other point about the great Fat ban during the 70’s. It wasn’t JUST science that was supporting it, it was a few scientists supported by a cadre of attorneys and their incestuous bretheren – politicians, who turned a few poorly designed papers into public policy. Thus set in stone, this made funding to support anything other than the anti-fat, Pro-carbohydrate (ie Corn Sugar) party line nearly impossible to get through an NIH grant committee. I’ve been in science 20 years and have watched seemingly endless cycles of BS, just like this being perpetrated on the public by grandstanding egomaniacs

  64. I am a fat woman – who knows exactly how to be not fat. I am working on it, but at my own pace.

    I have a couple of comments:
    1. if I go to a restaurant, 95% of the time I will eat healthier than if I were at home.
    2. How can you tell if someone is Obeise? I at one time in my life was what was called by those who have just seen pictures, very thin – but by the general bmi I was still considered obeise – I also could squat 500+ and bench near 200… muscle weighs way more than fat.
    3. If our country is so concerned about fat people, stop cutting funds for education, teachers, and recess. The #1 reason our children are fat is because they spend more time watching tv than playing out side. They don’t have time in school to play outside – to learn those games that they could play at home…
    4. maybe Missouri has better education systems than Texas, because I sure think that the time and money waisted on this bill could have gone to educators or schools or to some other usefull place.

    Lets look at schools, lets complain that teachers can’t teach because they have to supply pencils to kids, lets worry about how dumb our kids are going to be because people that have no idea how to teach, control our education systems — lets find some other things we can all waist our time on!

  65. If I had to guess what happened with Representative Read, I’d say that he saw a pathologically obese restaurant patron being served an oversized meal, was grossed out, and proposed a badly thought out bill. This is not astonishing. State Representatives are the bush leagues, and on any given day, one or two of them will be doing something silly.

    I can go for months without remembering that obesity is the only physical condition that people feel they’re entitled to openly despise. Then I get my nose rubbed in it, as in this thread. What an absence of charity! May you all be judged.

    I love this world some of you imagine. I suppose that those of us who really do have medical conditions (or more than one medical condition) that incline us to be overweight would have to carry some kind of special ID that would entitle us to eat in public — humbly, of course, and from a special menu, to make it clear that even though our weight isn’t a monument to moral turpitude, we are nevertheless prepared to do penance all our days for the crime of looking like that might be the case.

    I much prefer Lauren O’s take on it (42, 51): she’s noticed that her sister puts far more work into maintaining her weight, and still weighs thirty pounds more than she does. You should meet my friends Marilee and Jo, both of whom are disabled, and see what happens if you try to tell them they just need to get out and get more exercise. Or there’s my friend Avram, who does watch his diet, and does work out, but doesn’t get thin.

    Whether or not you have a disabling condition, there’s a lot of variation in people’s tendency to put on weight. When I hear people say “You just need to be more careful about what you eat,” or “You just need to get out and walk more often,” what that tells me is that those strategies are sufficient for them to lose weight. If you’re in that category, congratulations. Be grateful you’re so blessed. Now: shall I despise you because you’ve never seen Venus in crescent with your naked eye, and you can’t see a dark-gray cat at night in an unlit alley? Surely, if you just tried harder…?

    As NikFromNYC (74) points out, there’s been a huge increase in obesity in the United States over the last couple of decades. You can hardly argue that this has been caused by an epidemic of moral failure. Neither can you blame it entirely on a computer-oriented lifestyle (though admittedly that doesn’t help). Other countries have computers too. They haven’t had anything comparable to our rise in obesity. Besides, not everyone who’s significantly overweight is a computer user.

    What changed? Our diet. We moved over to complex carbohydrates with lashings of Aspartame, McCann-Erickson got rich, and people with a predisposition to gain weight found themselves in real trouble.

    I note that some of you fear that overweight citizens’ medical conditions will add to your tax burden. I take it that means you wholeheartedly support mandatory seatbelt and helmet laws, get your flu shots every year, and have never gotten a tan in your life. You don’t ride a motorcycle, and you don’t ski, surf, hang glide, or otherwise engage in hazardous and thus potentially costly sports. If you live in New England, you don’t stray off the pavement or allow your pets to leave the house, lest you wind up with a case of Lyme Disease.

    What I really worry about, though, is whether you’re getting enough sleep. One night where you get four hours instead of eight hours can give you a depressed immune system the very next day. Running a chronic sleep deficit and getting your sleep at irregular hours puts you in line for all kinds of expensive medical problems. But you’d never dream of slacking on that score, would you? Early to bed, early to rise, eight hours a night, regular as clockwork — right? Because otherwise, I could wind up paying for your health care.

    Takuan (17), to repeat a point made earlier, lots of obesity is a consequence rather than a cause of serious medical conditions. Sure, it exacerbates the problems thereafter. But you don’t have the one-way causal arrow you think you do.

    NE2D (18):

    “This is a classic example of the welfare state leading to the nanny state.”

    No, it isn’t. Nothing you describe there is inherent to our economic, governmental, or charitable systems. What it’s a classic example of is our recognition that misfortune can strike anyone, and our unwillingness to let our fellow human beings die in misery by the roadside. Have some of them acted foolishly? They have. But sooner or later, so do we all; and we persist in hoping that the consequences of our follies will be mild.

    Antinous (52): A bit circular there. Not all stress is generated by food.

    Moon (57):

    “Just get off your ass once in a while. Geez, I eat like a pig, but I work out all the time to work it off.

    A sure sign you are too fat: You can’t even walk DOWN the escalator. You stand there when all you have to do is move your foot 12 inches forward and let it drop.

    Get out of your car and walk!”

    And to think that all those times I’ve been standing on a down escalator, I’ve had no idea that you or someone like you was holding me in contempt for not walking down.

    An odd fact: for many people with painful joint diseases, it’s easier to go up stairs than down. It’s a different motion.

    When I come down stairs, I grip the rail tightly in my left hand, brace myself with my cane, and make my way down step by step. It reduces the strain on my knees. I’ve known people with serious joint problems to turn around and come down the stairs backward because it hurts them less that way.

    Escalator steps can be considerably deeper than standard stairsteps. If the escalator is narrow enough, I suppose I could hold my cane in my teeth, grab the moving railing on either side of me, and lower myself down step by step, but if I have to pass anyone who’s standing still, it just won’t work. Escalators with shallower steps tend to be wider, so that’s a different set of problems.

    Standing still on a slow-moving escalator is undeniably boring. All it really has going for it is that it isn’t actively painful. However, if it bothers you that much, I’ll swap: I’ll be the frustrated one who’s stuck on an escalator behind a person who’s standing still rather than walking down. You can be the one in front with the cane, the bad knees, and the choice of walking down or standing still.

    Shauni (73), I do admire a commenter who knows the facts. Nik (74), Jinglefritz (78), same goes for you. Thanks!

  66. This problem goes far beyond the cost of insurance. We’re talking at this point about a national security issue, because our military can’t recruit enough healthy people to fight foreign wars. The British are having the same problem. Our enemies are not. Despite their political and economic faults, the Arabs and North Koreans and the Chinese do not have the obesity problem we do.

    I’d also point out the–should be–obvious quality of life and reproductive issues related to an overweight society. As if finding a physically attractive mate were not hard enough, now the pool is substantially smaller due to candidates eating their way out of it (increasingly through no fault of their own as parents and schools fail our children).

    This artificial scarcity of attractive mates furthers the divide between rich and poor as financially well-off males snatch up the physically fit females (and increasingly vice-versa). As the overweight poor continue to inbreed while their few suitable offspring are taken by their wealthy betters, this will bring about a split into two separate species.

    Consider also, not only the health impediment (increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and so on), not only the social impediment, but the sheer physical and emotional toll being overweight puts on a person. When it gets to a point that you’re obese, you are in a sense physically lazy. Being saddled with pounds, you’re less likely to run, skip, frolic, or romp and therefore less likely to feel good and be productive.

    We’re seeing a generation of physically lazy children.

    They’re not morally lazy (yet). They’re not intellectually lazy (yet). They’re lethargic because they have a physical burden, which causes a mental state, and all mental states self-perpetuate.

    If we can reverse the obesity epidemic, we can reverse all of these social problems to some extent.

  67. Above, I see that MOONBAT feels that we are “seeing a generation of physically lazy children”.. SERIOUSLY??

    First off your children are TAUGHT their eating habits. They are instilled with the dicipline to not sit in from of a video game for hours by their guardians; am I wrong? Perhaps it is indeed a generation of lazy parent wrongfully raising their children? Allowing for the television be a babysitter instead of taking your kids to a park or supervising them while they play outside and interact with others..

    In fact, John Read may have thrown an outlandish proposal to shed light on the faultful eating habits of America. The National Center for Health Statistics is quoted for saying that 65% of United States adults are either over weight or obese. Can we ban FAT people from restaurants, NO! But, with more and more restaurants offering healthier eating options it helps.

    I agree that insurance companies should frown upon obese citizens but it not a restaurant owners obligation to regulate what one eats and where. Our government already regulates where we can or can not smoke and what counties can and can not sell or serve alcohol.

    I give kudos to John Read for taking such a bold stand on this issue.. In reality we all know the bill will not be passed.. it goes along the exact guidelines of discrimination..

  68. …our military can’t recruit enough healthy people to fight foreign wars…Our enemies are not.

    Obesity is increasing worldwide, at least in countries that have any food to eat. The ones that don’t probably don’t pose that much threat what with the starving and all.

    We’re seeing a generation of physically lazy children.

    Given that they’re not allowed out on their own any more, what are they supposed to do? Run on a hamster wheel in the garage? When I was a lad, back before we had air or gravity, I got booted out the door after breakfast, let in for lunch, and booted out again until dinner. We don’t live that way anymore.

  69. I love fat chicks with big tits, asses to manhandle too, just as sex gets boring. But I don’t like bad fat tired goth jailbait girls who wont eat home–made beef jerky, pounded with a hammer then cut into strips, seasame seeds and pepper and a bit of 25 year balsamic.

    I’m still figuring this out. Bad obesity means you are tired a lot. I figured that out. Fill her with Vitamin C and good calories. But like most men, I don’t want to reform a girl, I want to embrace one who already eats bacon and eggs, in ininhibited and unapologetic manner.

    Comment I make amounts to Manifestos, but actually I do not care for health or wealth, or revolutions, just good media, media that makes me smarter and thus (hopefully) sexier.

    When the idiot experts become debased postuering prumpted up priests, though, I feel wrath, for ’tis my life they are trying to fatten up for he kill as I BoingBoing, boom-boom, woo-tang, wooh-tang, stay wit’ her, make her purr.

    We have much to learn from Italy.

  70. Nik, if it turns out you’re doing this as a performance, I’m going to feel disappointed and bereft.

  71. thats just another way to take our rights away-if we are not careful this country will be communist. this country is supossed to be a free country but their is no such thing as free anymore.surly not our rights.

  72. “Moonbat, is there some reason you dismissed everything I said?”

    Because I read the post, and then I read the first sentence of your comment, and the two contradicted each other.

    From the blurb: “‘I was trying to shed a little light on the number one problem in Mississippi,’ said Republican Rep. John Read of Gautier, who acknowledges that at 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, he’d probably have a tough time under his own bill…”

    From your comment: “If I had to guess what happened with Representative Read, I’d say that he saw a pathologically obese restaurant patron being served an oversized meal, was grossed out, and proposed a badly thought out bill.”

    I then saw that you claim to be one of those rare individuals who have a medical condition that causes them to be overweight.

    Unless you make specific objectionable claims, I don’t see any point in arguing with you. You’re emotionally involved in the issue, but not (I don’t think) for ideological reasons.

    Since I’m responding now anyway, I might as well suggest that not all disabled people are overweight. Your condition may even improve if you work on your fitness. Try swimming, stretching–there has to be something you can do. Ask your doctor. I hate getting into these kinds of discussions, though. If we were friends, I would give you more advice. As a semi-anonymous Internet user, it doesn’t really concern me.

    I do take issue with this: “You can hardly argue that this has been caused by an epidemic of moral failure.”

    Hasn’t it been a tremendous moral failing on the part of the food industry, our politicians, our schools, and our parents?

    Isn’t it a moral failing that we know what the problem is and still do nothing about it?

  73. These guys are a prime example of ur tax dollars at work. Think how much money ur state could save if they got rid of these jokers.

    That is a truly retarded concept. If they pass this into law, then maybe politicians should also be banned as most make us sick to our stomach, thus posing a health hazard.

    I don’t have a problem with obesity, but am married to a person who does and related to some that do. While it is the person’s responsibility to take care of their health, it IS not the responsibility of this lawmaker to come up with stupidity.

    With today’s concerns and much more important issues, why would they fool with something as “ignorant” as this?

    Not enough to do. If they ban the obese from restaurants, should they ban short people from going in big and tall shops, fat people from petite shops, ugly people from beauty salons, balding people from barber shops, people over 21 from Forever 21?

    Then, people with high cholesterol from buying beef and eggs? People with poor driving records from buying a car? See, once u allow ignorance to seep in, there is gonna be no stopping the snowballing.

    I would say hold a state emergency meeting and elect NEW lawmakers. Geez.

  74. I think placing blame is ignorant. People inherit their risk of obesity and they inherit more of fewer fat cells. This is a fact.

    THIS DOES NOT MEAN A PERSON WHO inherits more fat cells and/or slower metabolism has to be overweight. It simply means the battle if more difficult.

    Not placing blame on schools….but this nation should begin somewhere and in the education system is where they should start.

    Physical education in this country has quickly been sidelined and when school budget cuts happen, this is one of the first things that take a hit. This and extracurricular sports in schools.

    Physical Education should be required all through school……….including all four years of high school. Requiring kids to pass this class with a “C” or better to graduate. Performance should not be the criteria for grade, but participation should be. Full participation. People will argue that Phys Ed is not as important as academics, but a clear mind with a murky metabolism and sluggishness suffers.

    THese lawmakers in Mississippi should start there. They can take the pressure off the kids by requiring gym class be segregated by sex as we all know that despite how, “hot” “average” or “geeky” we felt in High school, gym class was not the favorite.

    Encouraging employers to work with gyms and weight loss centers in their local areas to create discount memberships and partnership plans would be another way.

    Encouraging health insurance companies to work with gyms and weight loss programs across the country “for discounts and networking would also be incentive for many.

    Not all overweight/obese people will conform. It has to come from within them and sometimes, some will never be reached.

    Yet, banning obese people from restaurants is about as resolute as gun control is for the criminal. Is the plan to also ban obese people from grocery stores and convenience stores? Will the next move be to impose “camps” such as those used by Hitler, only targeting the obese?

    Like I said, start at the bottom rung with youth….make the lawmakers change the physical education and extracurricular sports programs to encourage physical activity.

    Encourange discount programs through employers and health insurances.

    Create small tax deductions for “gym membership costs and weight loss programs” that are legitimate.

    Create more innovative education in schools on obesity and diet and nutrition.

    Require schools offer NUTRITION programs and more fitness options, such as: weight-training, swimming programs, yoga, aerobic dance and pilates.

    But, I think our lawmakers need to get off the stupidity wagon.

  75. One last thing………….this nation needs to find a way to lower the costs of the healthier foods. The American farmer is slowly dying out, but raises many of the crops that produce healthy nutritous foods.

    Junk is cheaper. Next time ur in the grocery store or a Super Walmart, look at the lady with 3 small kids and what will u see in her buggy? Ramen noodles, mac and cheese and hot dog weiners.

    Why? Inexpensive. People will argue that healthy food is not expensive. Start checking out the cost of produce, it’s lifespan in the fridge. Some fish, depending on your region, can be quite pricey.

    While overweight/obese people may risk their health by being overweight…..most fit people have risky behaviors in their life as well. Sometimes, the people that object to the offensiveness of the appearance of an obese person are more or less…..self-absorbed.

    I agree someone with 3 or 4 rings of bulge may turn off many people that work hard to stay fit, this I can understand. How are they truly affecting you? If you have time to be filled with disgust, maybe you don’t have enough to occupy ur mind.

    As for the person that said blogging and sedentary lifestyles is part of it…..true. Also, one of the negatives of technology has created a vacuum that encourages sedentary and lazy behavior. People can do their shopping with a few clicks of the keyboard.

    Camping has become a “my RV is bigger than yours” event where they tote their television, vcr, ipod and junk food right along.

    There is a remote for everything that we once upon a time used to have to get up to turn on and off and now u can buy a vacuum that drives itself. No wonder.

    In early days of prehistoric man, as prehistoric man developed he walked more and more upright as he worked to provide his food and forage for his survival.

    Early settlers had little or no obesity. Man had to travel on his feet to get what he needed to survive. All that walking made for fitness.

    Think about it. It’s not tv, it’s not just blogging, it’s not the gov’ts fault or the schools. It’s the change in technology and a lack of motivation.

    The school system and gov’t can help change this…..but there is NO overnight answer. Never was.

  76. If they ban the obese from restaurants, should they ban short people from going in big and tall shops … ?

    Big and tall shops don’t cause people to be short.

    This is more like banning drunks from bars. It’s about the bartender taking one look at someone and saying, “You’ve had enough.”

    I don’t think it’s a good idea. (Mainly because the bill doesn’t target specific restaurants or menu items. If they made it illegal to serve obese people fast food or dessert, it would make more sense. It would also discourage restaurants from serving unhealthy food, because they could by law only sell those items to half the people they can currently.) The arguments against this bill, though, have missed the point it was trying to make.

  77. In my opinion, the problem is not the obese person but the source of the obesity. Take for instance, The “ALL YOU CAN EAT” buffet. That’s the thing that should be outlawed. I mean who ever thought of such a disaster to give people an avenue to commit suicide with a fork and a spoon? It’s very plain to see that if something doesn’t change, fat people will continue to eat over eat on to death.

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