No soda ban here: Mississippi passes 'Anti-Bloomberg' bill
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1126 GMT (1926 HKT)
- 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.
Part of complete coverage on
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 2300 GMT (0700 HKT)
April 27, 1994: Nelson Mandela's crowning moment and the day South Africa held its first elections for citizens of every race.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1625 GMT (0025 HKT)
Mohammed Jamjoon interviews the American performer who stunned the Arab world by singing in Arabic.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1532 GMT (2332 HKT)
"Sometimes it just takes one incident to galvanize a society," says CNN's Sumnima Udas.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT)
Drones hover like a bee, flap like a bird and bounce like a ball. These awesome flying robots are taking unmanned flight in new directions.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1225 GMT (2025 HKT)
The mysterious "catacomb saints" were venerated by the Catholic Church and encrusted with gold and jewels -- before disappearing for centuries.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
A report in 1972 made the initial connection between cannabis and gynecomastia, otherwise known as "man boobs."
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
The KAZA conservation area is working to make it easier to cross borders.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1256 GMT (2056 HKT)
He started his first business venture with capital of just $200 but today, he is one of Liberia's most prominent businessmen.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
North Korea is showing no signs of scaling back its fearsome labor camp system, says human rights group Amnesty International.
December 6, 2013 -- Updated 0545 GMT (1345 HKT)
A yellow jumpsuit worn by martial arts legend Bruce Lee in one of his final fight scenes goes on sale in Hong Kong on Thursday.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1051 GMT (1851 HKT)
Meet 24-year-old Marita Cheng: the talented technician bringing robots to your home.
December 6, 2013 -- Updated 0304 GMT (1104 HKT)
Japanese blogger Keisuke Jinushi started the "hitori date" (one-man date) blog two years ago.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 2128 GMT (0528 HKT)
Even by the standards of supercars, the Porsche Carrera GT is something remarkable.
Today's five most popular stories