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LA Wants to Ban Fast Food For a Year

Fast food joints are everywhere. It seems you can't drive a few miles in a city without seeing a Burger King, Taco Bell, or Mickey Ds. I've never had a personal problem with these establishments because I feel that people can make their own decisions about what they eat. It seems that Los Angeles doesn't want to give people the option though. South LA wants to ban fast-food restaurants for one whole year in the poorer neighborhoods. "Fast food" is being defined as those places that don't offer table service, and serve pre-prepared foods or ones that can be heated up quickly. Since obesity is becoming a huge problem, and there's a shortage of access to quality foods, the city wants to give other healthier restaurants a chance to move in. This ban has people's health in mind, but the restaurant industry thinks this idea is unfair. One restaurant owner said, "What's next — security guards at the door saying 'You're overweight, you can't have a cheeseburger'?"

So what do you think about this proposed ban? Do you think it's long overdue? Are you for the elimination of fast-food joints? Or do you think these types of restaurants should be allowed to remain open, being that people are responsible enough to make decisions about their own bodies? Tell me your opinion in the comment section below.


MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 9 years
This is ridiculous! The government should not be responsible for people's poor eating habits. Educational programs in public schools (particularly those in low income areas) is a much better solution than this gratuitous government involvement. ElectroPopTart brings up a really good point about low income families relying on these businesses for job opportunities.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
One thing I don't really remember anyone bringing up in this post is how many fast-food franchises really open up in a small area in the course of a year? Just offhand, it seems to me that not that many new restaurants really open up in one location all that often. So I wonder how much real-world impact this would really have.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
I saw a post on and they raised a really good point: A lot of low income families rely on those restaurant openings as job opportunities.
DeviousMuse DeviousMuse 9 years
mondaymoos - Speaking of WIC, I overheard a mother speaking to a grocery manager, frustrated why her WIC wouldn't allow her to buy a specific type of Cheerios cereal. What type? The lower sugar option. She wanted to buy the *healthier* option for her kids, but wasn't allowed to. I noticed this, too, when I was working at a grocery in high school. Many times, the healthier options of basic products, such has skim milk vs. 2%/whole, real cheese vs. processed, low sodium vs. regular soups weren't available to the WIC families, which doesn't make sense to me if the government is really trying to help those of a lower social status. If those WIC vouchers were for produce, fresh cuts of meat, dairy and whole grains, vs. processed foods, maybe they wouldn't be spending their extra dollars on the unhealthy crap. (I know this wouldn't apply to everyone, as some people are going to buy what they want, no matter what, but its a start.)
erikadee erikadee 9 years
i think its great. fast food is poison and its killing us. if you want to die a greasy death then drive out of town and enjoy. people will realize its not worth it and it never was.
annebreal annebreal 9 years
Mondaymoos - that's a good point. I've heard from a lot of moms that the great thing about being on WIC is being able to buy nicer groceries because of the vouchers. The fact of the matter is I don't think people in poverty don't necessarily not know better - that fast food is high in calories and low in nutritional benefits - they just can't afford any better. Taking it away won't make it any easier for them to afford better food. And fast food provides employment for people under the poverty line. I think the idea of this borders on unconstitutional and also doesn't really solve any problems.
DoctorBunBun DoctorBunBun 9 years
This is extremely frightening. As Americans, we are blessed with the personal liberty and freedom to eat what we choose. Now, we are banning food?? People will simply drive to an area where the food is available, increasing gas consumption. Silly.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
I think this is a great idea. People in poorer neighborhoods often are not educated on what constitutes healthy food or not, and in their minds, if you lose weight, it means you are going to die. At least, with some people I know, this is how their families think. So they would much rather be obese than at a healthy weight. I am not saying everybody thinks this way! Plus, this helps them in the long run. Fewer unhealthy food options means fewer health problems down the road, which would save them money on medical bills. Most of them don't have insurance anyways. Really, I have been to Inglewood and those shady areas and you find a fast food joint or fried chicken place just about on every street corner.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
soulight, that is a good point that I noticed often enough when I was working in checkout at a grocery store. Those who purchase their food with foodstamps with 9/10 buy unhealthy food options because it's cheaper that way. They can get more food with less impact on their foodstamps card. And I don't approve. Instead of giving people an amount of spending money every month, maybe we should be supplying them with vouchers much like the WIC system.
superstephanie superstephanie 9 years
***It would save money due to costs---for insurance companies paying out on overweight caused issues. And companies for lost time, sick pay, etc....
superstephanie superstephanie 9 years
I think keeping new ones out is a good idea. What would be better if ALL health insurance companies and work places would offer incentives to gyms, weight control programs, or even time during the work-day to work out for 30 minutes. And I don't mean just the giant corporations but min. wage workers too. Something like this would not only help with obesity but heart problems too.......
soulight soulight 9 years
I think the real details of this article is kind of irrelevent. The overacrhing issue is should the government intervene with the issue of obesity? I think to a certain degree yes, obesity goes beyond to asetethics into serious health problems. The idea of preventing new fast food joints in poorer areas may on the surface seem discriminatory but the fact of the matter is in poorer areas they are more likely to use medicare and medicaid. So if they are more like to be obese due to increased availabilty of fast food, then they are more likely to have obesity related like diabetes, heart disease, etc, which then puts a burden on the state and you as a tax payer. I don't know if this fully justifies the ban, though. I would rather the state makes it cheaper to get healthier fruits and vegetables through some type of tax subsidies. The other day I went grocery shopping and I spent 30 bucks on 10 items which all consisted on my diet of fruits and vegetables, but do you know how much more I could have gotten with $30 if I got junk food? It's ridiculous, and that's where the government should start.
katyharper katyharper 9 years
How 'bout instead of banning the new fast food restaurants, they offer tax incentives to healthier options? Then everyone's happy.
yeokr yeokr 9 years
i am torn on this issue - both the actual issue from the article and the one inferred from the blog post. i see the point that it could be overreaching by the government to dictate what is made available to people in the way of food. however, even the inference made from the blog is not that people are not allowed to eat fast food, just that it cannot be produced in this area on a test run. if people have the means to get to fast food, they will and they can. however, simply educating people is not always easy or effective. i am a dietetics student and education is a pet of mine. but not everyone knows how to cook or has the funds to purchase the ingredients to make meals for themselves at home. fast food has filled in for skills such as those and is cheaper to boot. unfortunately, though i do not have the statistics, i am aware of the fact that those families living around or below the poverty line - who are perhaps working more hours to pull themselves up and out - do not have the extra money or time to cook more nutritional meals, even if they have been educated on the how and why. as liberal as i am, i don't want to advocate an iron fist from the government regarding food, but i wish there was some easy way to just eradicate these poor choices without offending people or affecting the economy.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Having read some of the ensuing comments about this actually being more of a stop of new fast food joints being opened up in an area that's already oversaturated with them and NOT about kicking out existing businesses.... I'm not so appalled. After all, local governments control what sort of businesses can open up within their boundaries. This is not so unusual. I think it needs to be considered though that the reason why there might be so many fast food restaurants in a lower income neighborhood might have something to do with there being a lack of "healthy" restaurants that actuallu provide meals at reasonable prices. I hope they'll provide some sort of positive initiative for restaurants to come in and provide healthy, affordable alternatives to the fast-food joints. Otherwise, what's the point?
kittyhill kittyhill 9 years
Everyone, the STORES ARE NOT CLOSING! The moratorium is just on new ones opening!
CillaB8 CillaB8 9 years
I just saw something on the news last night about Governor Schwarzenegger considering lowering CA's minimum wage to the federal minimum to help boost the economy. While this move might help the state government recoup the lost income from dropping property taxes, it defeats the purpose by putting less money in the pockets of hard working people who don't have a Hollywood paycheck. The economy will just suffer in a different way. Closing all the fast food restaurants, and losing the subsequent jobs involved, would also be another huge blunder in the name of "solving a problem". I agree with the previous posters; people know fast food is bad for them, yet they consume it anyway. Closing the stores would only be a Band-Aid over the real problem, and many options masked as healthier that would stay open and available are just as bad for a person. The real problem is that people are too lazy to make healthy food choices on their own. Until we teach our children (and ourselves) the value of good food and exercise and how to eat well, we will continue to be a national of bulging waistlines.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 9 years
i agree that obesity is a problem, but at least 1/2 of the people who pull into mcdonalds on a daily basis probably eat perfectly normally and just enjoy the occasional burger. also, like someone said, a meal at olive garden or macaroni grill thats stuffed with cheese and breaded and covered with creamy sauce is much worse for you than the occasional burger and fries.
kittyhill kittyhill 9 years
This article greatly oversimplified the issue. Here's the NPR story that gives more detail: It's not the ENTIRE city of Los Angeles, first of all. It's only the Crenshaw district, which has the highest concentration of fast-food joints in the county, &, incidentally, the largest number of obese adults & children. The moratorium is only on construction of new fast-food restaurants; all existing ones will be left alone. The idea behind it is that by allowing healthier options to move in, they will give the people living in Crenshaw the opportunity to make healthier choices. I think it's a great idea, & I definitely don't think that the government is out of line.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 9 years
I hate LA, I think we'd all be alot happier if california would just become a separate country from the united states.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
Thats ridiculous! This is America, you should be allowed to choose what you want to eat.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
This is absurd. It reminds of Prohibition when alcohol was banned. It's not going to work, and it's ridiculous. Give people the freedom to eat whatever they want. Besides, fast food is not the problem, as fattening food can prepared at home, or purchased at grocery stores. It's about educating the people themselves, and letting them make THEIR lifestyle choices.
V-for-Victoria V-for-Victoria 9 years
@ annebreal: Yeah, they make it more sensationalist/controversial to generate more comments.
annebreal annebreal 9 years
I think this is the ten billionth time a Sugar network sight has misinterpreted, misquoted, whatever, a source and then did a post all about it. It's a site-wide problem, beef up the editing maybe?
GoneZaggyGirl GoneZaggyGirl 9 years
the article says they voted to just ban new fast food restaurants from being built in the low income areas in l.a., not taking away the old ones. not that i agree with it, but just wanted to clarify that the idea is not a total wipeout of all fast food restaurants in the city
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