Skip to main content

No soda ban here: Mississippi passes 'Anti-Bloomberg' bill

By Holly Yan, CNN
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1126 GMT (1926 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cities can't limit food or drink portions at restaurants
  • "We believe there's enough regulation," says the bill's author, a restaurant owner
  • Mississippi has the nation's highest rate of obesity
  • But the state says obesity among elementary students has dropped 13.3%

(CNN) -- In Mississippi, you will never be denied a colossal soda or huge restaurant portion because of a city ordinance.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed a law preventing counties, districts and towns from enacting rules that limit portion sizes. It follows New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to ban the sale of large, sugary drinks in the city -- a move that fizzled when a judge blocked the effort.

The Mississippi measure was dubbed the "Anti-Bloomberg" bill.

The new law says only the state legislature has the authority to regulate the sale and marketing of food on a statewide basis.

Politics of soda bans and calories
Judge puts a cap on NYC soda ban

"It simply is not the role of the government to micro-regulate citizens' dietary decisions," the governor wrote about his decision. ""The responsibility for one's personal health depends on individual choices about a proper diet and appropriate exercise."

Mississippi has the nation's highest rate of obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 34.9% of the state's adult population was obese in 2011, the report said.

But Bryant said recent studies show that obesity among Mississippi elementary students has dropped 13.3% between 2005 and 2011.

"We believe there's enough regulation," said Mississippi state Sen. Tony Smith, the bill's author and a restaurant owner.

"If the market demands that I serve a more healthy food, I'll do that to meet to the market demand," he said. "But ... why should I risk my capital, my hard work, my efforts that I've put in to build a restaurant on the thinking of what a government official thinks?"

"It doesn't prevent local government from promoting healthy foods," said Mike Cashion, executive director of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, which lobbied for the legislation.. "What it does do is prevent them from creating policy mandates for the sake of consistency and uniformity."

CNN's Joe Sutton and Dana Ford contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 2332 GMT (0732 HKT)
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1442 GMT (2242 HKT)
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 0613 GMT (1413 HKT)
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 1503 GMT (2303 HKT)
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0154 GMT (0954 HKT)
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1336 GMT (2136 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT