The New York state judge who struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary beverages Monday is not the only one taking a stand.
Down South, lawmakers in Mississippi have passed a bipartisan so-called “anti-Bloomberg bill.”
The legislation — currently awaiting a signature from Republican Gov. Phil Bryant — prohibits counties, cities, and towns from mandating that nutrition information be posted, restricting the size of food portions, or preventing “consumer incentive items” (like Happy Meal toy, club memberships, products associated with the purchase of food) at restaurants, food establishments, and vending machines.
Bryant is expected to sign the bill, which passed 50-1 in the state Senate and 92-26 in the state House, according to NPR.
Mike Cashion, executive director the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, told NPR that the legislation came in direct response to Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to restrict sugary drink sizes in New York.
“If you look at how menus have changed, whether it be in fast food or family dining, you are seeing more and more healthy options,” Cashion said. “Not because of legislative mandates or regulatory mandates, but because of consumer demand. Our industry has always been one to respond to the marketplace.”
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mississippi is the most obese state in the country, with 34.9 percent of its residents considered to be obese.