Mississippi Restaurants Won't Serve the Obese? HR Bill 282
Okay, we understand that Mississippi--ranked the nation’s fattest state year-after-year--wants to take action against obesity. And we applaud their bold move and publicity stunt to draw attention to our dire need to stage an intervention when it comes to self-destructive behaviors around obesity. But NAAO cannot support legislation outlawing the sale of food to the obese. You can’t castigate, alienate and potentially isolate a third of the population. Unlike alcohol or cigarettes, food is required to sustain life. Not to mention the practical absurdity of hostesses greeting customers, then whipping out the fat-pinching calipers...
But restaurants can’t be let off the hook. They’re as culpable as the bartender who continues to serve a drunk. And while all people at restaurants should be served, the restaurant has an obligation to remove all disease- and obesity-accelerating substances from its recipes (or at least put warnings next to those dishes high in sugar, fat, preservatives and artificial ingredients.) Additionally, NAAO supports the NYC Board of Health mandate that calories be listed on menu boards and next to food items in printed menus (NAAO President MeMe Roth testified to that effect at the hearings conducted in November of 2007 by the NYC Board of Health.) Finally, the default on children’s menus should not be fried food, french fries, or soft drinks. Soft drinks shouldn’t be served to minors at all.
All people have the right to informed consent. Restaurants must satisfy that right by providing accurate and truthful information about their menu items.
Friday, February 1, 2008