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Obesity Action Coalition Calls on the State of Mississippi House of Representatives to Withdraw House Bill 282 Discriminating Against Those Affected by Obesity
Date:2/1/2008

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is calling on the state of Mississippi House of Representatives to withdraw House Bill 282 (HB 282) that discriminates against those affected by obesity by restricting their right to dine in restaurants. The OAC strongly feels that HB 282 is outright discrimination against the obese population and an example of the often misguided attempts proposed to address the obesity epidemic.

Introduced in late January, the bill clearly states that members of the Mississippi House of Representatives are now seeking an act to prohibit certain food establishments from serving food to any person who is obese based on criteria prescribed by the Mississippi State Department of Health.

"HB 282 is the most blatant form of obesity discrimination. This bill completely perpetuates the negative stigma often associated with obesity. The thought of food establishments holding the power to first, determine the health status of a patron and second, having the ability to refuse service based on the determination of whether or not the patron is 'obese,' is completely outrageous. The OAC is seeking immediate withdrawal of HB 282," said Joseph Nadglowski, Jr., OAC President and CEO.

With more than 30 percent of the population of the state of Mississippi considered obese, HB 282 would greatly affect the entire state. Discrimination against the obese and morbidly obese is already having a negative impact on the quality of life of many Americans. HB 282 would only further and strengthen that impact by intrusively affecting Mississippians statewide.

"We support states developing comprehensive proactive health programs addressing and assisting those affected by the disease of obesity through prevention and intervention in an appropriate manner; however, this type of discriminatory legislation is misguided and will not lower Mississippi obesity rates," said Nadglowski.

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SOURCE Obesity Action Coalition
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