I’m not often in agreement with my hometown paper’s editorial board, so I have to stop and make a note of it when it happens. Yesterday, Bay City Times editor John Hiner responded to the Los Angeles city council’s decision to prohibit the opening of new fast food restaurants in one of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods. (It’s been referred to as a “fast food ban” in the news, which isn’t really accurate– existing fast food restaurants can continue to operate.) The justification for the moratorium is the health of poor urban children, who are disproportionately more likely to be obese.
Bay City is separated from L.A. by about 2,300 miles and perhaps an even more impressive cultural gap, but Hiner correctly points out that fast food can include healthy choices, and consumers have only themselves to blame if they’re not picking stuff on the healthier end of the scale. The editorial doesn’t touch on other criticisms of the L.A. council vote, like the fact that sit-down restaurants and grocery stores aren’t going to magically pop up in low-income, high-crime areas, but it’s nice to see something like this on Sunday morning.