Many in the fight against obesity point the finger of blame at the fast food industry. Here in Los Angeles, an effort is underway to limit the number of fast food restaurants that can open in minority communities, such as South Los Angeles. Those communities are on the front lines of the health crisis as the rates of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes are higher there than in other communities due, in part, to limited access to healthier food options. A measure that would limit the number of fast food establishments was passed by the Los Angeles Planning Commission last month and is expected to go before a Los Angeles City Council committee before the end of this month. But the California Restaurant Association says limiting the number of McDonald’s, Burger Kings, Taco Bells will have a negative impact, because the restaurants bring jobs, management training, and entrepreneurial opportunities to these communities. Are we solving one problem at the risk of creating another?
Jan Perry, Los Angeles City Councilmember Representing the 9th District
Daniel Conway, director of public affairs, California Restaurant Association
Lark Galloway-Gilliam, Executive Director, Community Health Councils