L.A. May Place Moratorium On Fast Food

The Los Angeles City Council will consider a moratorium on fast-food restaurants in South L.A., a part of the city with high rates of obesity and below-average access to grocery stores.

"Amid worries of an obesity epidemic and its related illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, Los Angeles officials, among others around the country, are proposing to limit new fast-food restaurants -- a tactic that could be called health zoning."

"The City Council will be asked this fall to consider an up to two-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in South L.A., a part of the city where fast food is at least as much a practicality as a preference."

"A Times analysis of the city's roughly 8,200 restaurants found that South Los Angeles has the highest concentration of fast-food eateries. Per capita, the area has fewer eating establishments of any kind than the Westside, downtown or Hollywood, and about the same as the Valley. But a much higher percentage of those are fast-food chains. South L.A. also has far fewer grocery stores."

"Thirty percent of adults in South L.A. are obese, compared with 20.9% in the county overall, according to a county Department of Public Health study released in April. For children, the obesity rate was 29% in South L.A., compared with 23.3% in the county."

Full Story: Limits proposed on fast-food restaurants




Redlining... is there anything it can't do?

tax unhealthy food instead

Certainly we should be thankful that the LA city council is doing anything at all about the obesity epidemic. Most of the rest of our nation's leaders are doing nothing at all about rapidly rising obesity rates.

However, the structure of the restaurants aren't necessarily contributing to the problem, but rather the content of the food. Like many of the people in the article say, a restaurant structured like fast-food is particularly appealing to people in lower income brackets, who need lower-cost food and often need that food served more quickly.

The most ideal solution I can think of is to tax food based on a measure of its healthiness. The proceeds from this tax could be used to subsidize healthier fast food products.

Obviously there are some holes in this proposal - I'm not a nutritionist, but I'm sure there are enough that a panel could be convened to agree on a standard measure of healthiness on which basis the food could be taxed.

But only for poor people

Since the special zoning restrictions are saying only poor folks can't control themselves or make proper choices (redlining), the tax should only apply to those neighborhoods as well. I can hardly wait to see how the whole "Let's make poor people's food more expensive" ad campaign will go over.

RTG, who is thankful he lives in such a rich society that the nannies worry that our poor people have too much to eat.

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