WASHINGTON ­- Good news from Mississippi. A bill introduced last week that would ban restaurants from serving food to obese customers – that would be more than 30 percent of the state – has died in the state House’s public health committee.

Republican Rep. John Read, one of the measure’s sponsors, had acknowledged that the bill had little chance of becoming law, but he backed it to call attention to Mississippi’s ranking as the most obese state in the country.

It worked, drawing howls of protest from restaurant owners, nutritionists and other lawmakers who found it remarkably absurd and unenforceable.

Even if passed by the legislature, the proposal surely would have been vetoed by Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, no stranger to fine food and drink, whose “Let’s Go Walking” program has a much better chance of success.

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