Mississippi sends ‘anti-Bloomberg’ bill to governor’s desk

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Mississippi lawmakers have sent an “anti-Bloomberg” bill to Gov. Phil Bryant’s desk, standing up for their right to eat Big Macs and drink Big Gulps to their heart’s content.

The Magnolia State may be the fattest in the nation, but Mississippians want the government out of their health. The proposal would bar counties and towns from regulating that restaurants limit portion sizes, require nutrition information to be displayed or ban toys from kids’ meals.

“If you wanna go eat 20 Big Macs, you can go eat 20 Big Macs,” said state Rep. Gregory Holloway, who introduced the bill in the House,  according to the Clarion-Ledger. “If you want 1,000 sodas, you can still do that.”

Gov. Bryant is expected to sign the bill, which has bipartisan support, later this month, according to National Public Radio.

The bill is a reaction to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban, Mike Cashion, executive director the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, told NPR.

“If you look at how menus have changed, whether it be in fast food or family dining, you are seeing more and more healthy options,” said Cashion. “Not because of legislative mandates or regulatory mandates, but because of consumer demand. Our industry has always been one to respond to the marketplace.”

Bloomberg’s soda ban was overturned on Monday, but the mayor says he is confident the city will win its appeal and New Yorkers will be healthier for it.

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