Fast Food Ban Doesn't Trim the Fat

A ban on new fast food restaurants in South Los Angeles which was put in place last year has been found to play little role in reducing obesity in the area, according to a new report from the Rand Corporation.
October 10, 2009, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"'We argue that the premises for the ban were questionable,' Roland Sturm and Deborah Cohen write in today's online edition of the journal Health Affairs.

The study was based on InfoUSA business data and a survey of 1,480 Los Angeles County residents. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health, with no financial support from the fast-food industry, Sturm said.

Contrary to 'conventional wisdom,' the density of fast-food chain restaurants per capita is actually less in South Los Angeles than in other parts of the city, said Sturm, a Rand senior economist."

The report suggests that limiting what types of restaurants can move to the area will not affect obesity rates. Rather, expanding policies that require calorie counts on menus could play a more significant role, according to the authors.

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Published on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 in Los Angeles Times
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