YOUR OPINION: Letters to the Editor March 21, 2013

By NEMS Daily Journal

Bryant fails to address Mississippi’s health crisis
Mississippi leads the nation in obesity, and with Gov. Bryant signing Senate Bill 2687, this will be a setback that Mississippians cannot afford. The American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi do not support legislation that prohibits local governments from addressing the health concerns of its citizens.
“We are very disappointed by Governor Bryant choosing to sign a bill that prohibits local governments from giving its citizens a fighting chance at eating better and maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” said Kimberly Hughes, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s, government relations director. Because Senate Bill 2687 was so broadly written, there is the likelihood for many unintended consequences.
We have many city leaders who are making great strides in creating healthier communities, and the continuation of those programs could now be at risk. This law prohibits counties, cities, and elected bodies from not only enacting ordinances or regulations pertaining to improving the health of its citizens by way of having restaurants offer nutritional information to its consumers known as menu labeling but also promoting healthy foods. Consumers should be educated about making healthy choices, and menu labeling is one tool that can be very helpful.
We have come to a point where more and more Mississippi cities are making efforts to address the health of their community by promoting healthier foods and offering incentives for making healthy choices, and we want for them to be able to keep as many options as possible.

Christiana Williams
Communications Director, speaking for
American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network
The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi
American Heart Association
American Stroke Association
Jackson