Los Angeles Bans Fast Food

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.

Lisa Baertlein and Dan Whitcomb of Reuters has the story: Link - via Blue's News

(Photo: Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry poses in front of fast food restaurants' signs in South Los Angeles. By Phil McCarten/Reuters)

Housing equality is such a fascinating and complicated thing. The fact that so many fast food restaurants are popular is because of so many things including:

1. Grocery prices today are very high compared to income. And it's common practice for grocery stores to not build in low income areas (see also: banks and check cashing places)
2. Low income areas tend to have working residents that work more hours than average.
3. The cycle is repeated for generations when school funding formulas are based on property taxes (this is a real killer).

This, and much more than my feeble mind can know, is all to say that fast food eating is a symptom, not the disease. Banning or limiting the amount of chains won't hurt but this sort of effort would be much better in working towards the real causes of human decline.
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What a freekin shame that she is trying this in LA of all places.

Los Angeles has the BEST FAST FOOD IN the USA!!!

It really is better than anywhere else.

Heck...just a humble "Del Taco" is usually better than the best taco available is sit down places in towns of 500,000.
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I love that this is above the Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburger post.

I remember after R.J. Reynolds lost a huge case, their executives warned it would be fast food or sugary cereals that would be next.

Not to say we should all start smoking. Of eating fast food.
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Nice gesture, but what would really be something is if the government stopped pushing the agenda of the HUGE empire that values money over our health and REALLY made efforts to improve our health. But, then there'd be no more cheese. No more hydrogenated oils. No more dirty, artery clogging meat. And as a result, wayyy less disease. I don't see what it matters if the same ice cream and fried cheese that causes cancer (yes, it's true, ask any nutritional researcher who is not taking money from the dairy industry...the fact has been proven beyond any doubt) that you can get at a fast food place can also be purchased at a sit-down restaurant.
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This isn't a ban on fast food. It's a ban on *new* fast food places, in neighborhoods that already have significantly more fast food places per square mile than most of LA. It's a zoning decision, and nothing more.

As usual, the press is hysterical and stupid.
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the title is misleading. LA is not banning fast food outright, just the construction of new fast food joints in certain neighborhoods (which are pretty well saturated anyway, from the sound of things).
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Low Income Neighborhoods absolutely need fast food restaurants. I lived out in San Diego for a couple years, and during that time I was broke! I relied on fast food restaurants to feed me. If they weren't in the low income areas, then they would have to count on cars/public transportation to get to the Bell or KFC, and with the gas crisis, well...its just not worth it. Who is she to tell us what to eat and what not to eat!
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So let me get this straight:

Rich people get to eat what they want.

Poor people get to eat whatever rich people allow them to.

What happened to "all men are created equal"?
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It's "a ban on new fast-food restaurants". See that little three-letter word in there? NEW. Look it up. Nobody's banning fast food. At this point, I doubt it will make much difference anyway. People have already managed to make themselves obese with what's there now.

Does anyone else find it disturbing that someone who works in the health care industry is promoting bad eating habits?

'"It’s stupid. It’s our body, we choose what we put in it," Tonya Owens, a 45-year-old nurse assistant told Reuters.'

Good grief.
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Before we can even discuss obesity, we should acknowledge that the Body Mass Index is, for many reasons, a highly inaccurate measure of fitness. First of all, it fails to take into accou

Neatorama and Reuters are putting so much spin on this issue, you might as well decorate it with Hebrew letters and call it a dreid

Great article!
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Since when did we give the government the ability to regulate what we eat?

The point of the government is to protect our rights, not take them away. Rights cannot be 'given' to you, but they can be taken away. You have rights simply because you exist, and the government is supposed to protect those rights.

deciding what you want to eat, where you want to eat, and how you want to eat it are not things the government should be controlling. They can, however, inform you that what you're doing is detrimental to your health, and suggest that you stop it.

Granted, in this case, they are just making a zoning law, but the points above are still valid, and our rights are slowly being violated.
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