I'm Speechless....almost!

Too Fat to Be Fed? - Is it OK to refuse food to a hungry bear?
@drannhh (15240)
United States
February 1, 2008 7:36pm CST
I know nobody will believe me, but for once I really don't know what to say. Probably a thousand other myLotters have brought this up already, but honestly, I just did a search and couldn't find any other discussions on this topic, and it seems rather newsworthy in its own way, so here goes: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0201081fat1.html This is legislation to prohibit restaurants in Mississippi from serving food to obese would-be patrons. Have you ever heard of this? What do you think? Please be nice and don't kill the messenger, but I'd really love to hear your opinions.
10 people like this
26 responses
@mamakat (321)
• United States
2 Feb 08
Before I start, I'd better preface with I'm totally not out to kill, harm, or maim the messenger in any way. When my husband tells me things sometimes, I get really riled up just because of the nature of the story he's telling, but it's not directed at him. He then proceeds to run for the nearest exit screaming for mercy. lol That being said. . . Absolutely unbelievable! I don't even know where to start! Wait, maybe I could start by saying one thing that does surprise me is that this is in Mississippi and not California. Seems like CA is typically the state leading the way in doing whatever is humanly possible to take away individual freedoms. Oreos? GASP! They're the devil incarnate! Ban 'em! Smoking in your own home? Eeeeek! Perish the thought! Give me a break people! How ridiculous that there are people out there who think the government should now be deciding if a person is skinny enough to eat somewhere. How absolutely absurd! Do these idiots not realize how pathetic this legislation really is? According to several sites I've checked out, obesity is based on BMI a little more heavily (no pun intended) than on actual weight. So what are restaurants going to have to do? Have someone standing there at the chow line with a body fat caliper to test everyone before they grab a plate? The Miriam-Webster definition of obesity is 'having excess body fat'. Check your dictionary boys, then find me one person who *doesn't* have excess body fat on them! So here are my questions. What about places that fit the establishment criteria and have delivery services? If someone calls in to place an order, how do we know it isn't an obese person they'll be delivering to? Could they get fined for deliveries to overweight people? Would the restaurant be forced refuse to complete the delivery to the person because they're fat, then have to absorb the cost of the wasted food they couldn't deliver? Would the don't-serve-a-fat-person police go undercover and have 'steak'-out (sorry! Couldn't help myself!) to try to nail restaurants delivering to obese people? Yes ladies and gentlemen, Big Brother is very much alive and well and coming soon to a neighborhood near you. *rolling eyes* (And again, I totally didn't mean to go off the deep end here. I just get so frustrated when I hear about the direction things are going as more and more freedoms are being stripped away from us--or the attempt to do so is being made.)
2 people like this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
RFLMAO, I am still laughing so hard over your description of a "Steak-Out" than I may not be able to address your other points. They had better not be coming near my bony self with a caliper. Ouch, that would be enough to make me stay home and cook. Yuck. I think they have been sneaking down the specifications of what is or isn't overweight again lately anyway. The whole issue seems somewhat subjective. Thanks for your enthusiastic input.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
See, these myLot discussions can end up engaging the whole family. WTG!
1 person likes this
• Hong Kong
2 Feb 08
Wow! What's up with people nowadays? I don't really like the idea because those people have the right to eat too! I think maybe the restaurants think it's not a good image to have the obese sitting in their restaurants. But the thing is: don't we all talk about freedom and human rights? Wouldn't it be a bit over the edge when they have a policy like that? I know discrimination exists everywhere but it's really a bit over the top (I hate discrimination! I don't even make jokes about people who are physically different than others!).
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
It just so much flies in the face of most of the existing legislation because many restaurants have been barred from weighing in their customers or measuring the height of children with a yardstick and things like that. It seems like a backlash to an existing backlash that would do nothing but cause another backlash. I just don't think it would have the desired effect.
3 people like this
• Hong Kong
2 Feb 08
No I don't really believe that it would have the effect they want.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
4 Feb 08
Well if it passes, you know there will be tons of law suits - public discrimination, violating civil rights and such. The backdraft could be bigger than the people it is berating! I think these poeple that want to make this kind of law just dont' have anything else to do with their time. They are bored and just scrambling for some busy-work to do so they can keep their jobs and not be laid off. On the other hand, maybe lawyers are behind it in the side wings!! Again, lot of law suits could be had here!
1 person likes this
@sminut13 (1786)
• Singapore
2 Feb 08
i seem to have heard of it before though i can't be too sure. probably from the newspapers here. it's really surprising as i feel that some obese people are obese not my choice. sometimes they can't help it i feel as it might be in the genes and all. i wonder if it is really true. not sure if it's here or another article by a hubber. i can't be too sure.
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
The article came from a link on the DrudgeReport, my main source for "news" these days.
1 person likes this
@sminut13 (1786)
• Singapore
2 Feb 08
oooh, i have never heard of it. hopefully it doesn't happen. i don't think people would be happy about it. thanks for responding.
• Canada
2 Feb 08
Well if this in indeed true i couldnt imagine being denied service because someone think im too fat. I really dont think this is at all fair to refuse service to anyone maybe but based on the fact of weighted maybe not.
2 people like this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
Particularly not when the definition of obesity may or may not have anything to do with weight. First, someone is going to have to define, legally, what is meant by obese. Duhhh! Thanks for your comment!
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 08
I think the USA is getting dictatorial and more like communistic every day. I think they are inadvertantly sliding more and more CONTROL in on the American public without our knowing. People need to DO something and stop being lazy and thinking none of this will ever affect us- it is affecting everything - and quickly. My opinion - they're NUTS!
2 people like this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
You will not be the only one to express this opinion, I am sure. Thanks for your comment!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (101748)
• United States
2 Feb 08
Talk about a law that is discriminatory and unenforceable. It is sure to ruin business if they try it. I seriously doubt that it will pass, and I am sure that there will be an incredible backlash.
2 people like this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
I seriously doubt that it will pass either, but for those who are interested, here are some statistics: http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity/release.php?StateID=MS Thanks for your valuable input!
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 08
I think thats pretty crazy. I mean, everyone has to eat, right? People who are obese shouldn't lose their right to go into a restaurant and enjoy some food. What would be next? Grocery stores refusing to sell groceries to obese people? Besides, who would be the judge of what is obese? The waiter? The manager of the restaurant? Would there be a pound limit? Would every customer have to step on a scale before being seated? I'm sure this law won't be passed!
2 people like this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
I seem to remember a time when some buffets charged a different price depending on a person's weight, but that was soon ruled to be discriminatory.
1 person likes this
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
2 Feb 08
What are they going to do weigh everybody when they come through the door?
2 people like this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
The photo suggested they might use a tape measure. But in truth I didn't actually read the whole proposal. I think my eyeballs are still rolling around on the floor somewhere from the shock of seeing that our society has come to this.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 08
I think they are going over board with our freedoms. we are all responsible for our own bodys. So I was told years ago. They want to direct a womans rights now the big large can't eat out. Well I am just going to have to wait this one out. I would not eat at any of those places even if I was bone thin if that law became effective.
2 people like this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
Do you mean to say you are not bone thin, lol. I know this is not a laughing matter, but I am so tickled that you came by and gave my discussion its first reply.
1 person likes this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
2 Feb 08
Hello Drannhh, I read this article this afternoon, and sadly I could believe it. Many, myself included, have been warning that the mob-rule mentality that originated with the smoking bans, leading to the trans-fat bans, then to the soda bans, would soon branch out into full fledged, larger scaled discriminatory actions. This is a perfect example of the "slippery slope" in action. What's worse is that in defense of this, a team of lawyers and actuarials will provide argument and expert testimony that this action is only designed to promote a healthier lifestyle. And, that if it "saves one life, then it's worth it". If people see this as unjust because it robs the individual of choice, then we need to re-examine all of the other examples of discriminatory, anti-freedom and anti-personal responsibilty legislative acts that has been surreptitiously populating our municipal and state codes.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Feb 08
I just want to say that I wouldn't lump banning something like smoking with banning trans fats. While eating junk has no direct effect on anyone other than the person doing the eating, smoking directly affects others.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
As LadyLuna has probably heard me say before, I'm with you, ClarusVisum on the difference between being forced to endure side-smoke and being voluntarily exposed to trans-fats. In fact, I predict that in a few years they will be admitting that transfats are not, after all, the real culprits. On the other hand, I think LadyLuna is right in pointing out that there are too many legislative attempts to curb personal liberties. Notwithstanding that next after Alabama, Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity in the nation, with about 6 times as many obese citizens as, say, the state of Colorado, I would agree that this kind of action could represent a "slippery slope."
1 person likes this
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
2 Feb 08
I would have to say that the restaurant industry would soon go broke if they did pass that law with all the hipe today saying that more people in the world today are obese compared to the ones that are not.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
There you go! What they think they are going to save if health care costs, they will lose in tax revenue as all those restaurants go down the tubes.
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
Well, I sure agree that education is a key issue here, but I hardly think removing trans fats is going to skinny up the public. The real culprit, in my view, is the proliferation of poisonous chemicals that are creeping into our food...artificial sweeteners, pesticides, growth hormones, and other substances that are easier to manufacture than to eradicate from the earth once they have permeated it. It seems to me it would be a lot easier just to start teaching a bit more science in the schools, including the science of nutrition, and serving healthier food there and encouraging families to give their children a better start in life than to tamper with free enterprise. What ever happened to the food pyramid? Nobody seems to remember it anymore!
1 person likes this
@laurika (4536)
• United States
5 Feb 08
I think that is crazy. it is just discrimination and you know I am not obese. but I mean there is no way to teach obese people how to loose wight by starving. that is just crazy. They should better quit to put all those things to our food and teach people how to live healthier and how to enjoy exercise and maybe how to enjoy your food too. not just eat as many you can , but enjoy the food slowly and every bite.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
5 Feb 08
I agree that this is a situation that need more education and less suppression. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Laurika!
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
2 Feb 08
I had not seen this, wondering if it is real since it doesn't appear that any of the main stream news companies have picked it up. I think this would be illegal. I don't think anyone should be banned from eating regardless of who much they weigh. IMO restaurants should disclose who much fat. calories, etc are in their food.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
House Bill 282 is real. If approved it would go into effect July of this year. If you are a Helium member come debate me on your IMO issue as I took the opposite side and would love to keep that one going. I should go see if anyone there as written about HB 282, as well! Maybe we should do that one, too, but not as a debate. I can't imagine anyone taking the opposite side, although any myLotters who care to cast a different perspective on this are warmly welcome to come and try.
@lala766 (240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
this is nuts. I know obesity is a problem all over the united states but my gosh. Can you imagine these pepole standing in line to be seated and being humiliated like this! I think these people need help but there is no need to be cruel about it! a lot of obese pepole have issues that go a lot deeper than food.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
I would think that if someone stood in line a long time and then was refused food that person might keel over from hunger and have to end up suing somebody over it. What next, a mandatory ID card that has your weight on it and like the smog check we all have to go in once a year and get tested? I hope I'm not giving them any ideas here.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
2 Feb 08
wow! that's way too mean. and what do they intend to do with those people (obese)... leave and die with hunger. where is their heart? my goodness ... people nowadays are getting cold, and heartless. by doing that they're like sending the obese to alcatraz and rot. there is no worthy people in this world. not even those with a slim figure. nobody is ever worthy. that's just ridiculous. im sorry -- forgive my rantings. i just bloody hate people who are inconsiderate.
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
It is an issue of self worth, isn't it? You can come and rant anytime you want, hummer.
1 person likes this
@kymommy72 (588)
• United States
2 Feb 08
Talk about discrimination! Geez! I think that is completely idiotic. You know in this country all kinds of diffent races and religions are protected from discrimination and rightly so. However, it's open season on fat ppl and always has been. I'm speaking as a fat chick, so I know what I am talking about. I'm not saying by any means being big is a good thing, please understand that. But it is also my right to be big. If I want to eat a piece of chocolate cake or sit down in this Mississipi resturant and eat til I burst, that's no one's business but my own. This law is discrimination in it's highest form and in not other situation, not color, race or creed would this be tolerated.
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
2 Feb 08
You are right, especially in saying it would not be tolerated in any other situation, and I think it will probably not pass, but as the cute guy on Dateline might say, "What were they thinking?"
@Jemina (5783)
11 Feb 08
That was odd. I think it's an outright violation of human rights. We need to eat no matter how fat we are, we still get hungry because eating is a very important part of our life. They might want to reduce the number of people who are obese but not in that way, I think. Well, I don't really know what they are up to but if it's the law, I can't do anything about it. I believe restaurants are not the only place where people eat.
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
11 Feb 08
Yes, as much as I enjoy eating out on occasion, if forced to choose between getting rid of all the restaurants and getting rid of my dishwasher and other home devices, I would get rid of all of the restaurants. Fortunately we don't have to make that choice.
@Bugsey (775)
• United States
17 Jul 08
Drannhh- have you ever thought that it isn't a bad ides at all? Non-employed people can now join the "anti-fat brigade" and have jobs like watching all the obese people and their orders and get paid for it... Picture a scene where the "anti-fat brigade" will seat themselves in a court (like the witchcraft hunt kangaroo courts then) to make a decision on another individual's BMI.... doesn't it make you want to write a dark comedy screenplay?
1 person likes this
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
6 Jan 10
How did I overlook this for a year? Yes, takes the appetite right away just thinking ab out it, too.
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
9 Feb 08
I think it is a bit over the top when it comes to privacy laws. But then again... they had no problems making smokers out class citizen around the western world... so I guess fat people are next on the list. But judging by the photo on the article... it is not about people who are overweight. It more likely applies to someone who requires two seats to sit down. But I don't see how this will solve the problem of obesity. They will just eat somewhere else... just like smokers smoke somewhere else.
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
9 Feb 08
I can see it now, all the statistically overweight citizens of Mississippi take a big chunky bite out of Alabama on one side and Lousisiana on the other That will make a great cartoon. In my head I'm drawing it already, with the title "Eating Elsewhere!" Your point about the chairs is right on target. We had the problem in one college where we taught that there were no chairs large enough to accommodate several students, and instead of solving the problem, the administration bought new chairs which did nothing more than prevent the large students from putting 2 chairs together as they had been able to do before in order to sit down.
• Australia
10 Feb 08
There was also the case... a while back ago... of the airlines making people pay for two seats if they required two seats to sit down. I see nothing wrong with that one... as seats and weight in an airplane are what the cost of flying is all about.
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
11 Feb 08
True about the weight on airplanes, and polssibly also for all-you-can-eat buffets, although for the latter, then I think skinny people should get a reduced price.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
4 Feb 08
So for every "large"person they turn away, there goes money to the resturant, which means, money to the people that work there including tips, which means probably laying off employees cause the resturant is not bringing in the money to support the staff. So you have unemployed people. if it is a law, the people can't go find another job - as no resturants are hiring, as they dont' need more employees. Seems to me a better way to go if the "country" wants to help over weight people is to give them incentives nad encouragement to go work at a gym or do exercise to loose the weight. If anyone thinks that a "large" person that is turned away at a resturant will think "oh goodness, I guess I have to go loose some weight or I won't be able to eat there agian", is stupid! The people can just as easily go make whatever they want to eat at home - oh, well, then the "laws" can tell grocery stores, the same thing - "If a large person come through your register with (a list of no-no's to buy) the cashier has to tell them they can't have those items and take them off the counter! When does it stop!
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
4 Feb 08
I knew you would like this one because it is so closely related to your other topic. Couldn't wait for you to get here to see what you would say. That is a valid point you make about the supermarket checkout. Wouldn't that sort of thing be the limit. The lines are long enough already. Thanks much for your reply!
• United States
5 Feb 08
I agree with you. Can you imagine grocery stores or restaurants regulating what an overweight person can buy? I am not obese and only a few pounds overweight. I have health problems and eat a very strict diet. But, every once in a while, I will designate a day to go out and buy treats like ice cream, nuts, candy, or pizza. I don't eat like that all the time. But, what if I were obese? Would people be judging me on my food? How would they know if I ate that every day, or just a couple of times a month? A lot of overweight and obese people are dieting, but you gotta live a little, too. And, who is to say how overweight you can be to eat at that restaurant or buy that food? Are they going to have a scale at the door? It would have to be based on looks and that's definitely discrimination.
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
5 Feb 08
Yes, what troubles me most is that some arbitrary choices would have to be made about the definitions here. I grew up in a world where skinny people were ridiculed (I call it BT = "Before Twiggy") and you couldn't even find size 5 clothes when I was a runt who at 5'4" wore a size 3, so I had to make my own clothes. Now at a nice, comfortable weight, pleasing both in how I feel and look I meet women 30 lbs lighter than me are trying to reduce. If they accomplish their goals they will look like I did while being ridiculed for being too thin. These are not the experts who should be legislating our morality.
@vera5d (4006)
• United States
9 Feb 08
I think it would make more sense to pass legislation on charging a tax on junk food that everyone pays and legislate that people must serve a minimum of 5 dishes that are low in fat, salt, sugar, etc. otherwise it seems like discrimination to me.
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
9 Feb 08
Yes, if Big Brother is going to mess with free enterprise, I would rather that restaurants be forced to offer some healthy dishes at affordable prices or crank up the cost of some of the truly awful stuff rather than being discriminatory and divisive.