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.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 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.