Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry has just launched a new attack in the war against obesity: a ban on new fast-food restaurants in poor L.A. neighborhoods!
The move is trend-setting California's latest salvo in an expanding war on the fast-food industry, which is bracing for copycat maneuvers around the United States that could threaten growth.
But residents are skeptical that such laws will have much impact in Los Angeles' low-income and minority neighborhoods, which are already blanketed with cheap and easy-to-find meals at chains such as McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Domino's Pizza.
"It's stupid. It's our body, we choose what we put in it," Tonya Owens, a 45-year-old nurse assistant told Reuters.
Edwin Tsai, interviewed at a cluster of fast-food chains in the affected district, which includes the neighborhoods of South Los Angeles, West Adams, Baldwin Hills and Leimert Park, said there were reasons people eat at places like McDonald's.
"It's fast and easy. I think people will still come here no matter what," Tsai, 23, said.
(Photo: Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry poses in front of fast food restaurants' signs in South Los Angeles. By Phil McCarten/Reuters)