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
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 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