The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to ban new fast food establishments in a number of neighborhoods, mostly in South Los Angeles, according to the L.A. Times.
Despite complaints from McDonald's, Carl's Jr., and other fast food chains, the moratorium will go into effect for one year. It will cover a 32-square-mile area, which includes about 500,000 residents.
Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose 9th District includes much of South Los Angeles, has said this effort is part of her attempt to address the health issues associated with fast food, such as diabetes and obesity, which are prevalent in her district. She is hoping to attract more sit-down restaurants to the neighborhood.
The article says a study last year showed there were more obese children in this district than in the rest of the city, and a study released in April showed that 30 percent of South Los Angeles adults were obese, compared with about 21 percent of adults countywide. South L.A. also has the highest incidence of diabetes in the county.
The law defines fast-food restaurants as "any establishment which dispenses food for consumption on or off the premises, and which has the following characteristics: a limited menu, items prepared in advance or prepared or heated quickly, no table orders and food served in disposable wrapping or containers."
One opponent of the ban, Madelyn Alfano of the restaurant Maria's Italian Kitchen, is quoted in the article: "The intent of this bill, and this proposal, is a very good one. There is an obesity problem. But I don't think the restaurant industry is to blame."
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