L.A.'s Fast Food Ban Boosts Health and Healthy Businesses

A moratorium on new fast food restaurants in Los Angeles is seen as a way to encourage better public health, but also a way to encourage healthier businesses.
August 16, 2008, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Even in a country where a third of the schoolchildren are overweight or obese, the yearlong moratorium raises questions about when eating one style of food stops being a personal choice and becomes a public health concern."

"The Sisyphean struggle against poor diets has included booting soda from schools, banning trans fat and, more recently, sending New Yorkers into dietary sticker shock with a law that requires calorie counts be posted on menus, right next to the prices."

"But this appears to be the first time a government has prohibited a specific style of restaurant for health, rather than aesthetic, reasons."

"Jonathan Gold, the LA Weekly food critic who won a Pulitzer Prize last year, said he understands the spirit of the freeze, which is an urban planning measure meant to keep the neighborhood, South Los Angeles, from being swallowed up by drive-though fast food restaurants. (A separate measure by the city provides economic incentives for new grocery stores and restaurants with table service.)"

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Published on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 in The New York Times
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