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
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 0239 GMT (1039 HKT)
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this baffling disappearance.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
As investigators search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, analysts try to figure out why the high-tech plane's transponders were disabled.
Track star Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Follow live updates of South Africa's trial of the century.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1031 GMT (1831 HKT)
A CNN team joins international observers trying to get into Crimea from Ukraine -- here's what they saw.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1224 GMT (2024 HKT)
Watch how Pope Francis is redefining the papacy and breathing new life into the Catholic Church.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 0400 GMT (1200 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
Michael Oren: He says the question is whether a truce can prevent conflict from becoming conflagration.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1015 GMT (1815 HKT)
There's nothing like lying on your back and staring up at a field of glittering stars. Here's where you can go for that:
The Fukushima nuclear disaster changed global attitudes towards nuclear power. Explore our interactive to find out how.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 2029 GMT (0429 HKT)
You -- the person now reading this story -- can help experts solve the mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1051 GMT (1851 HKT)
Scientists around the world are investigating whether living cells can be used to print replacement organs and tissues.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 0230 GMT (1030 HKT)
An adventurer explores Japan's abandoned sex museums -- some of the things he finds are "very, very weird."
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
There are two Web clips featuring Beyonce that have been getting a lot of attention.
Today's five most popular stories