Thursday, September 13, 2007

New 'health zoning' proposal targets Big Macs, Whoppers

clipped from

In what may be the first case of "health zoning," lawmakers in Los Angeles are weighing a two-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

"Fast food is primarily the only option for those who live and work here," Councilwoman Jan Perry tells the paper. "It's become a public-health issue that residents be given healthier choices."

Officials blame the low-cost, high-calorie fare sold by these chain restaurants for alarming rates of obesity and a number of health problems. Industry groups say individuals should be free to choose where and what they eat, without any intervention by the government.

A Los Angeles Times review shows that nearly half of the restaurants in the poorest parts of the city fall into the "fast food" category, compared with just 16% in more affluent parts of town. South Central is also said to have fewer supermarkets.

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