September 12, 2007

The revolution has started

If McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Jack-in-the-Box, et. al. won't control themselves; and we know Americans can't control themselves, at least in California, the law will control fast food.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting officials are considering "health zoning": prohibiting new fast-food restaurants in certain all of South L.A.

"The people don't want them, but when they don't have any other options, they may gravitate to what's there," said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who proposed the ordinance in June, and whose district includes portions of South L.A. that would be affected by the plan.

In just one-quarter of a mile near USC on Figueroa Street, from Adams Boulevard south, there are about 20 fast-food outlets.

"To be honest, it's all we eat," Rey Merlan said one recent lunch hour at a Kentucky Fried Chicken. "Everywhere, it's fast food everywhere."

The L.A. Times study found South Los Angeles with the highest concentration of fast food restaurants, and fewer grocery stores than the rest of the city.

And of course the next statistic is no accident. Thirty percent of adults in South L.A. are obese, compared with 20.9% in the county overall, according to a county Department of Public Health study released in April.

For children, the obesity rate was 29% in South L.A., compared with 23.3% in the county.
"While limiting fast-food restaurants isn't a solution in itself, it's an important piece of the puzzle," said Mark Vallianatos, director of the Center for Food and Justice at Occidental College.
But it's a start.

Other cities including Concord, Mass. are starting a new revolution by banning fast-food restaurants in certain districts.

The first shot heard round the world was just fired.

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