This Mississippi Bill is a bunch of baloney. It made me mad enough to write a letter to the jerks who sponsored it...something I don't do nearly enough. Check out some of the other letters that the infinitely more articulate Shapelings wrote, read mine, and send one of your own!
Here's what I wrote:
Representatives Mayhall, Shows, and Read:
I am writing in opposition to House Bill 282. I saw a report on this bill on my local news here in California. I'm certain this must be a ploy for publicity but that does not excuse the ignorance and biggotry that this bill contains. It is both discriminatory and frankly ridiculous which I assume you already know. I'm not sure what your true motives are but I know they can't be good. How exactly do you propose that stopping fat people from eating at restaurants will decrease obesity? Are you going to stop them from buying food at the local grocery store? Do you think that people will let their heavier friends and families starve? In at least 95% of cases people who have been on a diet gain back more than they initially lost. The body is designed to resist starvation by slowing the metabolism and storing additional fat.
I am a professional who works with children with eating problems. One thing I can say for sure from my experience is that shame and restriction DO NOT WORK. If you really feel that this is one of the biggest challenges facing your state (a notion I highly doubt, take a look at this website for some clear critical reading of the actual research that is out there http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/), and you actually want to help people be healthier there are all kinds of things you can do to promote the health of your constituency. Perhaps you could make cities friendlier for bikers and walkers, perhaps you could subsidize fresh vegetable farmers, or support campaigns that promote Health at Every Size (http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/mar06/health0306.htm). The news report that I heard this evening mentioned that you have brought up this bill because the programs Mississippi has tried so far have not helped decrease the rates of obesity in your fair state. Perhaps Health at Every Size might be a humane answer.
I urge you to revoke your support for this bill in order to show that you are a person of character and to remove this blight from your states image which certainly doesn't need more association with discrimination."
It's time to speak up. Fat discrimination is real! Feel free to copy my letter or let your own passion speak.
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