Brad Dickson: 

A San Fernando Valley legislator weary of the obesity epidemic has introduced legislation that would compel businesses to encourage their employees to lead healthier lifestyles. This is the stupidest idea since the Los Angeles City Council considered banning murder for a weekend.

Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, a Democrat from Woodland Hills, would require California companies desiring state contracts to provide their workers with fitness-related benefits – things like access to gyms, yoga instructors, company-sponsored sports teams and nutritionists.

I’m all for improving the fitness of Californians, but should this be a high government priority? If Levine’s measure becomes law, some Valley residents will drive to work past armed illegal-immigrant gangbangers on streets that were last repaved during the Sam Yorty administration and walk into their tagger-defaced workplace to find a fully equipped gymnasium and on-site yoga master.

The new law would apply to businesses with as few as 10 employees, which means we could see workers with state-of-the-art workout rooms who are sans comprehensive health coverage. “We can’t pay for your kidney transplant, Johnson, but do a few reps on our $6,000 state-mandated Bun Blaster. Maybe you’ll perk up.”

This isn’t to say that Levine’s motives aren’t admirable. An estimated 57percent of Californians are overweight or obese. That’s my theory on why there’s an increase in reported freeway shootings: We’ve grown to big to miss.