Moratorium on fast food is half-baked

first_imgBut a blanket ban on fast food? What about fast-food establishments that are making an honest effort to offer customers lower-fat alternatives? And considering the concentration of fast-food establishments already in some L.A. neighborhoods, perhaps the saturation point has been reached already. We’re not opposed to public education campaigns encouraging people to try healthier lifestyles. And a better labeling system to measure the fat content of fast foods could help make consumers wise up. But trying to legislate how adults behave on a level as basic as eating strikes us as biting off more than one can chew. After all, governments have never had much luck when they attempt to save people from themselves. Los Angeles city officials are whipping up another helping of nanny-government legislation. This one, according to media reports, is a proposed moratorium on fast-food restaurants in parts of the city where there are high concentrations of such eateries, such as South Los Angeles. City Councilwoman Jan Perry initially proposed such a moratorium in June. Certainly there are some nuggets of good intentions here. Areas where there is more poverty tend to have greater numbers of obese residents. And trying to encourage people to be more health-conscious eaters is understandable. But would a moratorium really do much to get people to change their habits? Considering the business all these fast-food restaurants are doing, one must conclude that they are providing a product people want. As Scripps Howard News Service pointed out in an editorial, people like fast food because “it’s cheap and quick, and the working poor by definition don’t have a great deal of either money or time.” We can understand enacting moratoriums to address difficult issues. Limits on liquor stores may make sense in crime-plagued areas. Residential development can be restricted to provide time to resolve density concerns. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img