Fat? No Food for You!
You're big, bulky—and hungry. So you lumber into a restaurant to get a bite. You scan the menu for a tasty meal, but when it comes time to order the waiter refuses to serve you. The reason? You're too fat. Sound outrageous? You may want to steer clear of Mississippi, where legislation was recently introduced that would ban restaurants from serving proportion-challenged patrons.
We kid you not. The controversial measure (state House Bill 282) would prohibit eateries from serving food to "any person who is obese based on criteria prescribed by the state health department." The department would monitor compliance and have the power to revoke violators' permits. (Pity the poor waiter with the thankless task of denying corpulent customers service, leaving them with the humiliating dilemma of either twiddling their thumbs as their less hefty chums chow down or slinking (storming?) out and slogging to a supermarket or over the state line for sustenance.)
Sponsors of the legislation insist that it was designed to spark discussion on ways to get a handle on obesity: More than 30 percent of Mississippi's adults are considered obese, giving the Magnolia State--where fried chicken and other greasy fare rule--the distinction of being the nation's first in fatness, according to a 2007 study by the Trust for America's Health, a Washington, D.C.–based research group that focuses on disease prevention.
"I was trying to shed a little light on the number one health problem in Mississippi," co-sponsor Republican Rep. John Read of Gautier, a former pharmaceutical company sales representative, told the Associated Press, acknowledging that at five feet, 11 inches (1.8 meters) and 230 pounds (104 kilograms), he might get the restaurant boot under his own bill.
Hilarity. The best part is that under those guidelines, he would fail the weight check with a BMI of over 30.
I almost wish that the ban would pass for a day or two just to see the chaos. Just imagine it. Every host or hostess at every resturant would have to be like one of those weight-guessers from the carnival. Well, that or have scales and tape measures placed right at the front door so patrons know whether or not they can be served.
Overall, such a ban would have almost no effect on me since I end up eating out once upon a blue moon nowadays. There's no doubt that I'd be more than porky enough to fail the criteria though. Hell, putting my stats into one of those BMI calculators would tell me that I'd need to be almost 8 feet tall to be of 'normal' weight. I'm pretty sure that even those stretching machines they use on short kids or HGH have never produced results like that. Still, even Michael Jordan comes in as being 'overweight' on the BMI at the height of his playing career so you really have to wonder about the system sometimes. People end up carrying weight differently. Finding out your percentage of body fat would probably would out better but I hear that requires a dunk tank. Somehow, I can't see people willing to be submerged in water just in order to find out if they can order a burger and fries.