One of the most controversial laws in decades has been New York City’s ban on large sodas. The law has come as part of a renewed interest in calorie-counting and public health, particularly in Gotham, but it’s not a popular law everywhere. Some places still believe in personal choice, like the state of Mississippi. Mississippi has passed an anti-Bloomberg ban on local food portion laws. If you want to drink a bathtub full of soda, then Mississippi says that’s your right as an American.
“It simply is not the role of the government to micro-regulate citizens’ dietary decisions,” wrote Governor Phil Bryant about the law. “The responsibility for one’s personal health depends on individual choices about a proper diet and appropriate exercise.”
In Mississippi, no city, town, county, or any entity smaller than state government can pass a food portion control law. Now local governments can still pass laws promoting healthy eating, but they can’t deny someone their right to 65 ounces of Diet Coke in one sitting. Supporters of the law say that it helps keep state eating experiences uniform, which seems like a good idea, even in a state with the highest obesity rate in the United States. No sense in banning sodas in Smith County when people can drive 15 minutes to Jones County and get a Big Gulp.
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