Nanny State

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fat mississippi

You know you've gone a little overboard when the man who invented the idea of a tax on Twinkies thinks that your efforts to combat obesity are too extreme.

In Mississippi this week, three state legislators proposed legislation to prohibit restaurants from serving food to obese people. The Twinkie Taxer himself, Yale's Kelly Brownell, was not amused:

"It would be hard to concoct something more ridiculous," says Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. "This brings bias against obese individuals to a new and appalling level."

Brownell joins a broad (ha!) coalition opposing the bill which includes PeTA, nutritionists, fat people, and me.

Via CCF and alert reader P.B.M.

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  1. Dammit, I can’t believe I just gave Peta.org a unique hit…

  2. This brings bias against obese individuals to a new and appalling level.

    …As opposed to the current tolerable level of bias?

  3. I love PETA. People Eating Tasty Animals!

  4. “Vegan meals like hearty vegetable casseroles, bean burritos, and pasta with mushrooms, tomatoes, and green peppers not only are satisfying but will slim you right down too.”

    Mushrooms are animals….this is proof positive that peta is a group of hypocrites.

  5. In Mississippi this week, three state legislators proposed legislation to prohibit restaurants from serving food to obese people. The Twinkie Taxer himself, Yale’s Kelly Brownell, was not amused:

    Of course he’s not amused. He’d be turned away at every restaurant in the state.

  6. “This brings bias against obese individuals to a new and appalling level.”

    Mr. Brownell prefers the bias at the old appalling level.

  7. To enforce this law, you would have to have a legal definition of obesity which could be used by law enforcement officials.

    It’s kind of like those personal dating advertisements where the girl says she is “full figured”. If they try to turn you away at the door, just tell them you are “full figured” and not obese.

    The restaurants could also tell them they can have a negative caloric meal, which are basically raw vegetables where you burn more calories digesting the meal than you get from it.

  8. Mushrooms are animals….this is proof positive that peta is a group of hypocrites.

    Actually they aren’t.

    Kingdom Animalia
    Kingdom Plantae
    Kingdom Fungi
    Kingdom Protista
    Kingdom Monera

    /smartass

  9. Though they are more closely related to animals than they are to plants or any of the other kingdoms.

  10. To enforce this law, you would have to have a legal definition of obesity which could be used by law enforcement officials.

    And then you’d have to convince the local sheriff’s deputy to get out of the Krispy Kreme shop and sling his fat butt down to the offending restaurant to actually make the arrest.

  11. Police cars equipped with shotguns and scales.

  12. Wait mushrooms are animals what??

  13. Life imitates ad campaigns:

    “Sir, I’m gonna need you to drop the Chalupa.”

  14. When PeTA and Kathy are on the same side of an issue, it’s a sure sign the eschaton has been immanentized!

  15. Sigh. Nice gratuitous link to that lovely picture of yourself, KMW.

  16. Police cars equipped with shotguns and scales.

    Yep, they’ll need them for the field obesity tests.

    Something like, “Sir, have you been eating tonight? I smell onions and pickles on your breath, how many cheeseburgers have you had? I’m gonna need you to slowly walk heel-to-toe along the white line… Sir, your stumbling shows me that you cannot, in fact, see the white line over your belly which leads me to believe that you have been eating while obese.”

  17. did anybody read PETA’s reasoning or proposed solution????

    Instead of refusing to serve obese people, restaurants could be required to serve them only vegan dishes

    it is not that they are support freedom, they just want their view to be enforced.

  18. French fries are (or can be) vegan. A mandate for vegan food would never work anyway, since, without the satisfying flavor of meat and dairy, habitual overeaters would generally opt for fatty vegan food like refried beans (which can be prepared fat-free but almost never are at restaurants), cookies made with lots of oil and sugar, french fries, etc..

    Not that I think it would ever come to that degree of absurdity.

    By the way, I’ve been trying to figure out where this nonsense pop belief that fungi are animals came from. I think maybe it comes from an interesting mix-up wherein a science-y person tells a friend that they learned fungi are more closely related to animals than plants (true), and the non-science-y friend — who believes all organisms are either plants or animals (false) — concludes that this close relatedness between fungi and animals requires that fungi be animals “instead of” plants.

    It’s fun speculating on the origin of nonfacts.

  19. ….a broad (ha!) coalition….

    Bunch a chicks?

  20. Sir, I’m gonna need you to drop the Chalupa.

    Cannibalism is already illegal.

  21. It’s kind of like those personal dating advertisements where the girl says she is “full figured”. If they try to turn you away at the door, just tell them you are “full figured” and not obese.

    If you can get through the door without turning sideways, you are not obese. 🙂

  22. “It would be hard to concoct something more ridiculous,” says Kelly Brownell,

    He says that like he’s pissed he just lost the Most Ridiculous Idea to Fight the Fatties prize.

  23. “The Twinkie Taxer” dislikes this proposal because he sees it as harassment. What he prefers are “subtle” ways of discouraging overeating. Social engineering is more effective when people don’t know they’re being engineered.

  24. Once again, Demolition Man is the most prophetic work in the last 20 years. (h/t Taktix).

  25. Cesar,

    Don’t you mean Heart Attack Man?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=dbHKEa-ZQVw

  26. Why bother with openly confronting fat people about their obesity when you can just put a very narrow doorway on your restaurant. Problem solved.

  27. What’s the matter with Mississippi? They didn’t used to have such problem with obesity. See this photo from the 1930s:

    http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=71212&rendTypeId=4

    (technically, the photo is from neighboring Alabama, but I’m willing to overlook such minor details in the interest of the joke)

  28. hard to know which is funnier:
    Drop the chalupa
    or
    field obesity test

    Or maybe the law to begin with? Of course, at some point there will be no knock raids. The police: we found 2 gallows of fudge rocky road ice cream, numerous candy bars, and two buckets of wings, as well as 13 used pizza cartons.

  29. Of course, at some point there will be no knock raids. The police: we found 2 gallows of fudge rocky road ice cream, numerous candy bars, and two buckets of wings, as well as 13 used pizza cartons.

    Possession with intent to veg out?

  30. But soon they’ll be busting people for possession of paraphernalia (the ziploc baggies and scales aren’t just useful for drug packaging, you know). Radley Balko will also report on police carrying throwdown sporks into raided homes and claiming they were found within.

  31. Psshhhhh. Animals, plants, fungi, monerans, protists–that’s old and busted.

    Here’s the new hotness:

    http://www.apollon.uio.no/vis/art/2007_4/Artikler/The_Tree_of_Life

    Just think about the pain you’ve caused our Opisthokont brethren next time you get a pepperoni and mushroom pizza! (not worried about the pigs; they’re delicious)

  32. By the way, I’ve been trying to figure out where this nonsense pop belief that fungi are animals came from.

    Fantasia?

  33. I’m just going to talk of the elephant in the room.

    The classic system of species categorization is completely outdated. We discovered so much about genetics since it’s inception that the Five Kingdoms system is no longer relevant.

    Sorry, life’s more complex than CD-store-style pigeon-holing…

  34. “I’m just going to talk of the elephant in the room.”

    I absolutely love the visualization of a social setting in which the Kingdom classification system is the elephant in the room. Writers strike be damned; Taktix presses on.

  35. Vegan meals like hearty vegetable casseroles, bean burritos, and pasta with mushrooms, tomatoes, and green peppers not only are satisfying but will slim you right down too.

    HAHAHAHAHA

    Yeah, eat tons of carbs and very little protein. Especially pasta. You’ll slim right down.

    PETA people are so disingenuous it’s almost appalling, except that I wouldn’t put anything past them.

  36. What he said made fat women into the “other,” and he deemed them unworthy for public view. And no one is unworthy of public view.

    Nutrasweet SugarFree, the Fisting boards never fail to entertain.

    It would be beyond entertaining if all the posters there had real thumbnail pictures of themselves next to their posts. We might see some people who are unworthy of public view.

  37. Episiarch,

    Try reading one of the “complaining about bra shopping” threads. 38 KK? Size 22 pants?

    And almost all of them complain about shopping at Lane Bryant.

    SLD: Be whatever size you want. I myself am a pudgy, bearded cave troll. But don’t try and tell people what they should find attractive. It’ll never work.

  38. And, by the way, fat people are the bread and butter of the restaurant industry. How much money can you make off of people dejectedly picking at a salad? The few thin people with fast metabolisms will never be able to keep the dining industry afloat.

  39. And almost all of them complain about shopping at Lane Bryant.

    Dude–stop it, you’re killing me. *wipes tears from eyes*

    How much money can you make off of people dejectedly picking at a salad?

    A lot. Lettuce is dirt cheap.

  40. The solution to this problem is obvious. People in Mississippi should immediately start eating legislators.

    If they run low, they can have some from Oregon.

  41. All of this is making think about lunch. Thanks, Reason. Thanks for making me fat.

    Sidenote: Is the above a drinking game trigger? If so, may I suggest:

    Corpse Reviver

    1 ounce gin
    1 ounce Lillet
    1 ounce triple sec
    1 ounce fresh lemon juice

    Procedure
    Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

    Originally a 1920s hangover cure (hence the name.) It also makes a fine summer drink when mixed with 3 ounces of club soda and served over ice. Basically the most awesome alcoholic lemonade ever. (If you don’t want to buy Lillet, you can get by with sweet vermouth.)

  42. SugarFree,

    Why do you taunt me when I am at work with nary a dram nor liquor store within sight?

    On the plus side, I do have a $200 gift certificate to the liquor store and I’m running low on some stuff, anyway…

  43. T,

    Liquor store gift certificate? Awesome!

    Lillet also lets you make a Vesper, the martini variant invented by Ian Fleming in Casino Royale.

    Vesper

    3 ounces gin
    1 ounce vodka
    1/2 ounce Lillet
    Dash of bitters
    Twist of lemon peel

    Shake with ice and serve in a chilled cocktail glass.

    The wikipedia page on the drink has some fun facts.

  44. I feel obligated to chime in here, but frankly, I got nothing. Let’s see, how about:

    Live free or die, fatties.

  45. I don’t see what PETA’s support, or lack thereof, has anything to do with this issue.

    I do see that KM-W continues her pattern of gratuitous, off-topic PETA references in an effort to drum up comments for her otherwise ho-hum, and often demonstrably inaccurate, articles.

    Suggest that the author reconsider her positions on style over substance.

    Good catch, John-David, on KM-W’s shameless self publicizing.

    Greek Chorus: Hubris, hubris, hubris.

  46. I don’t see what PETA’s support, or lack thereof, has anything to do with this issue.

    It’s used to help illustrate the phrase “broad coalition.” Feeling a bit defensive today?

  47. SugarFree,

    Yeah, the big liquor store in town rocks. Full deli, gift cards, good staff. I love Spec’s.

    I think I’ll try that corpse reviver with vodka, tho’. I loathe gin.

    What PETA’s support has to do with the issue: they’ve chimed in on the proposal with a press release, albeit with their own idiotic twist. So if we’re discussing public reaction to the proposal, which we apparently are, they’re relevant.

    Of course, we all know you can’t get fat eating lots of carbs and other non-protein goodies, so giving the fatties a bucket of fried rice and saying ‘eat up!’ isn’t necessarily gonna help anybody. Of course, fat people consume less healthcare. Let ’em gorge and die sooner. It costs the rest of us less.

  48. To enforce this law, you would have to have a legal definition of obesity which could be used by law enforcement officials.

    Actually, you need a clear, easily applicable definition that can instantly be applied by McDonalds cashiers. That’s going to be fun.

  49. instantly be applied by McDonalds cashiers

    Judging from some of the employees I see, it’ll be applied to them as well.

  50. Fatties should move to Japan. They’re worshipped there by a bunch of skinny people. And they can now eat High School Girls. Fatty Heaven.

  51. the non-science-y friend — who believes all organisms are either plants or animals (false)

    Oh, yeah? Since taxonomy is the practice of classif’n, there’s no such thing as an incorrect taxonomy. I teach my students the 2 kingdom taxonomy because it’s simple and serves my teaching purposes. Fungi are plants because their cells have walls.

  52. Of course, at some point there will be no knock raids. The police: we found 2 gallows of fudge rocky road ice cream, numerous candy bars, and two buckets of wings, as well as 13 used pizza cartons…

    …Which is why we had to shoot him 146 times. It was for his health.

    Oh, and we think there were some pot brownies…

  53. The response against this proposal is because it is too soon to indroduce legislation. The grounds has not conflin propoerly prepared in the society/culture to pass such laws. More “research” needs to be done and dissimilated via a compliant and willing media that likes stories that portend death and conflict.

    Wait a few more years – then will be time for such laws…

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