Mississippi passes bill banning soda bans

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law this week a bill that prevents cities and counties in the state from banning supersized sugary drinks and huge restaurant portions.

Take that, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg!

The Mississippi bill, which has been dubbed the “anti-Bloomberg” bill, prevents jurisdictions from enacting rules that limit portion sizes. The new law says only the state legislature has the authority to implement such regulations, according to a CNN article.

“It simply is not the role of the government to micro-regulate citizens’ dietary decisions,” the governor wrote about his decision. “The responsibility for one’s personal health depends on individual choices about a proper diet and appropriate exercise.”

The bill’s author, state Sen. Tony Smith – who is also a restaurant owner – told CNN he thought there was enough regulation.

“If the market demands that I serve a more healthy food, I’ll do that to meet to the market demand,” he told CNN. “But … why should I risk my capital, my hard work, my efforts that I’ve put in to build a restaurant on the thinking of what a government official thinks?”

Worth noting: Mississippi has the highest adult obesity rate in the country.

In 2011, 34.9 percent of adults in the state were obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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