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Should fast foods be banned from neighborhoods?

Posted on May 14, 2008 by Maggie LaBarbera

A study that looks at the environment and how neighborhoods with fast foods might be affecting our eating habits.

Neighborhoods with fast food restaurants in it are associated with higher counts of diabetes and obesity. How much does our environment really affect our eating habits? According to one statewide study conducted by UCLA, if there were five times more convenience stores and fast food in comparison to grocery stores and produce vendors, the obesity rates were 20% higher. It did not matter what race, economic status or gender.

Two recommendations came out of this study, restaurants should post the nutrition information on their menus and there should be restrictions to zoning laws. No surprise that the California Restaurant Association came out with a strong statement against the study. They called it ludicrous, citing that people need to be held responsible for their choices.

I am looking at my kids environment. I never really paid attention to the local restaurants in the area. Hmm, a fast food restaurant was located two blocks from the middle school my children attended. Take a look at your child's neighborhood and school area as well.

We can't watch our children 24/7 especially as they get older. This is why it is so important that we begin to instill healthy habits and solid foundation of what their body needs at a young age. Changing the zoning laws could take years, our kids our growing up now, we don't have year's.





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