Imagine blocking the construction of any new fast-food restaurants in Beverly Hills. Or San Diego, or New York City.
It is happening in the lower income areas of South Los Angeles, where 73 percent of the restaurants offer fast-food fare.
The City Council on Tuesday voted to place a moratorium on the construction of any new fast food chain restaurants because of the high numbers of obese residents.
Yet to be signed into law, this is the first time a city has placed a moratorium that singles out any type of restaurant.
The goal is to attract restaurants that serve healthier food, despite the fact that fast food is frequently more affordable than more quality, lower in fat and higher in vegetables and complex carbohydrate foods.
The city has a year to try and attract the new fare into the city.
Fast-food chain restaurants may sue. After all, you can get a salad at Wendy’s and McDonalds, they say.
“It’s not where you eat, it’s what you eat,” Andrew Puzder of Carl’s Jr. Restaurants tells the Associated Press.
30 percent of South Los Angeles residents are obese, compared to 14.1 for the more affluent Westside area where 42 percent of the restaurants are fast-food.
City Councilwoman Jan Perry admits that residents are tired of fast-food choices but many don’t have a vehicle to take them elsewhere.
For restaurants thinking of moving to South Los Angeles, incentives are offered to sweeten the deal. Low-interest loans help restaurants find parcels of land. Funds are available to bury utility lines as well as to offset the cost of electricity and taxes.
Last Friday, California became the first state to ban the use of trans fats in restaurants the locally made baked goods. New York City was the first to ban trans fats, which lower good cholesterol and raise bad cholesterol and are associated with heart disease and obesity. #