According to USA Today’s blog, Mississippi legislators last week introduced a bill that would make it illegal for restaurants to serve food to obese people in a move to combat the state’s obesity problem. Approximately two thirds of the population of the state’s residents are obese according to federal health statistics.
Not only is this a ridiculous proposal, it is completely useless. Banning obese people from restaurants isn’t going to make them eat better, lose weight or get healthy. It’s just going to take revenue away from the restaurants.
There are many reasons why people overeat, and it’s not usually because of a willpower issue. A lot of disordered eating has to do with burying unwanted feelings, hiding from past hurts, or filling a lack in another part of the person’s life – e.g., food might be comforting if they are dissatisfied with their relationships, hate their job, or feel lonely, depressed or disconnected. Food can be used like a drug to numb out any of these feelings.
Obese people need help, not useless restrictions. They need to learn about health and taking care of themselves. They need education to learn about how to become healthy – what to eat, how to cook, and how to shop. They need to know why they should want to be healthy – for themselves and for the world. And not just so that they can avoid illness, diabetes, cancer, heart failure, osteoporosis, aging, etc. Obese people need to develop their own personal reasons for wanting to be healthy so that they can get on track to health and wellness.
More about this proposal can be found here: