Obesity Action Coalition Calls on the State of Mississippi House of Representatives to Withdraw House Bill 282 Discriminating Against Those Affected by Obesity

Feb 01, 2008, 00:00 ET from Obesity Action Coalition

    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
     "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.
     To contact the OAC for further comment, please visit
 www.obesityaction.org or contact the OAC National Office at (800) 717-3117
 or info@obesityaction.org.
     The mission of the OAC is to elevate and empower those affected by
 obesity through education, advocacy and support. The OAC strives to educate
 obese individuals, family members and the public on obesity. In addition,
 the OAC will increase obesity education, work to improve access to medical
 treatments for the obese, advocate for safe and effective treatments and
 strive to eliminate the negative stigma associated with obesity.

SOURCE Obesity Action Coalition