Bryant gets bill to ban portion size restrictions

By The Associated Press

JACKSON – It’s up to Gov. Phil Bryant to protect the Big Gulp and the Happy Meal in Mississippi.

The House passed the final version of Senate Bill 2687 on a 92-26 vote Wednesday. It bars local governments from requiring nutritional information, restricting portion sizes, or barring toys in kids’ meals.

The bill, introduced by Picayune Republican Sen. Tony Smith, is meant to keep Mississippi cities and counties from modeling rules after cities like New York. There, restaurants menus must display calorie counts and soft drinks are limited to 16 ounce servings.

Federal rankings show nearly 35 percent of Mississippi adults were very fat in 2011, worst in the nation. Opponents say local governments need to be able to fight obesity.

The law would take effect as soon as Bryant signs it.