Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Fast-food battle moves to Southern California


Faced with fresh assaults on fast food from politicians and anti-obesity activists, the restaurant industry is gearing up to fight back, emphasizing the role fast-food businesses have played in providing jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Starting next year, major chain restaurants in California will have to include calorie counts of items on menus. Last week, San Francisco officials passed the so-called Happy Meal ban, which forbids toys to be included with meals that don't meet nutritional standards. Santa Clara County had earlier approved such a ban.

Now the battle switches to Southern California, where the city of Los Angeles wants to bring back -- and tighten -- restrictions on establishing new fast-food restaurants in some minority neighborhoods where obesity is a significant health problem.

The measure unanimously passed the Los Angeles Planning Commission last month and is expected to be taken up by a City Council committee later this month. Behind the scenes, lobbyists have been working City Hall, pointing out that McDonald's, Burger King and other franchises have brought jobs, management training and entrepreneurial opportunities to many disadvantaged people in those very same communities.

Read the full story here.

-- Sharon Bernstein

Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (12)

This is ridiculous. Why does government have to regulate this? If it's not healthy, stop feeding it to your children! Be a responsible parent! If you're that stupid, you deserve to be fat, your children will be fat, and you'll die an early death as a result. Natural selection.

The negatives clearly outweigh the positives on this one. Fast Food is a major problem around the Nation. People would rather eat fecal matter then actual food. Thats why you keep eating the crap too because it has zero nutritional value. I say ban them. Bring back local farmers and promote them! End the monopoly.

Russ, in the long run, this affect our state more than it affect businesses...Obesity ruins lives chief...I mean, if you take away the "toy" factor from the equation, would kids go crazy and ask to stop at a mcDonald's because of the yummy food? More than likely, no...

Check out these stats:

In 1980, 50 percent of the U.S. population was overweight; today it’s nearly 70 percent; by 2020 the OECD reckons it will be a good 75 percent. By 2030, according to Johns Hopkins University, it could be 86 percent. That’s because we also have the world’s fastest rate of growth when it comes to obesity, followed by Australia and England.

This is going to play absolute hell with our health care costs. Obesity-related health problems cost the country almost $150 billion in 2008, and the OECD study cites an estimate that weight-related health care costs could balloon by 70 percent in the next five years, and more than double by 2025. The numbers might even be worse, if not for the macabre fact that obese persons die 8 to 10 years sooner than those of normal weight.


California is a sad state of affairs. This state is so screwed up that liberals are now dictating what you can eat and what size TV you can buy. Next it will be when and where you can eat, what kind of car you are allowed to buy, how much money you are allowed to carry, what you can and cannot say in public. Liberals absolutely do not like the freedoms in the Constitution and want to dictate every aspect of our lives. But the stupid people of CA keep voting them in so I guess we deserve the loss of our freedom.

I dont' get this. The city council would rather have food trucks which police officers will tell you have tons of bacteria, un refrigerated food sitting out in the sun for hours, no bathroom access, no wearing of gloves etc. and city council is taking its time regulating them

Why not just ban buses and cars in those neighborhoods as well? That would force them to walk or bike everywhere, reduce carbon emissions, and make the neighborhoods quieter. And they'll be far healthier. That's just what we need: more government intrusiveness into our lives.

Our government at all levels should stop subsidizing corn thats making corn syrup used in soft drinks so cheap. This is contributing to the obesity problem, along with movie/action figure deals that blitz kid shows with advertising.

I have mixed feelings about this. I was addicted to fast food when I was younger. My mom was a single mother and was working all day. She didn't have time to make me and my siblings food, so often times we were given money to buy fast food. I was obese. When I went to college in Marin County, it was impossible to find a fast food restaurant. I became educated about eating healthy and exercising. I became a more responsible in my food choices.

I think that fast food shouldn't be easily available, especially in low-income areas. But, restricting fast food and putting calorie counts on products won't stop the underlying issue. The fact is most people don't know how to make better choices. Before college, I never knew what a farmers market was or that making healthier choices wasn't that expensive. I didn't know what eating healthy was. I currently live in Koreatown and can see how there is very little knowledge in the community about food and health. There isn't a farmers market or market within walking distance, but there is a KFC.

The government needs to do more on the education front. Fix our education system. Help kids and families learn to make better choices. Create jobs and affordable housing, so that parents don't have to work several jobs to feed their family.

Hey LIBS get out of our personal lives! You're why I always vote Republican!

Darreld, I have yet to find the part of the constitution that gives us the freedom to consume fast food or buy gas guzzlers. Is it a pending amendment?

If u eliminate mayo and French fries and sugar drinks, the rest of the stuff isn't that bad, but they should post the. Calorie content on the package

Why are we worrying so much about fast food? When we have a whole country to save from the LIBS?


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: