Should Cities Ban Fast Food Near Schools?

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A new study in California shows a strong link between teen obesity and the proximity of fast food restaurants to schools.

According to an article in the LA Times, the presence of a fast food chain like McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut within walking distance of school (about 530 feet or less) resulted in a 5.2 percent increase in incidence of student obesity when compared with students attending schools NOT near restaurants.

Although obesity can be caused by several things including genetics, lack of exercise, and nutrition, researchers believe that proximity to schools is a contributing factor. Students say that they not only consume a lot of fast food because it's the closest place to get food near school, but also that they often hang out a lot at these establishments. Moreover, researchers think that the situation is especially dire for young people, who may be more susceptible to the temptation of fast food compared with people of other age groups.

In an effort to curtail growing rates of diabetes and heart disease among young people, state and local governments in California (and across the country) have started to ban certain foods in schools including soda, junk food, trans fats, and even bake sales.

Could banning fast food restaurants near schools be next? Or is it enough to teach nutrition in schools? What do you think should be done?



eating out, food, healthy choices, trends

31 Comments

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qtmomof2 qtmomof2

When I was in HS we had Taco Bell and Pizza Hut IN the lunch room DAILY! They each had their own line and yup, they were the longest lines!


And in my HS you weren't allowed to leave the school grounds until school was over. Kids need to do more. I was just discussing this with my SO last night. When we were kids we played outside till dark - rode bikes, built forts, played with friends. My 9 yr loves to be outside but my SD (who is 14) hates going outside. She'll come back in 5 mins later and say it's too boring, there is nothing to do, and on and on. Yet we live on an acre of property with the woods surrounding us. There is PLENTY to do. She'd rather be glued to the computer or the have the phone to her ear. But if it's nice out I don't give her that choice. They need some physical activity!

auror... aurorabunny

Forgot near schools, they should ban this garbage entirely.  If people want to poison their bodies this would at least force them to make it themselves at home!

DawnA72 DawnA72

I'm with aurorabunny, ban fast food entirely.  It barely even deserves to be called food.

sunmo... sunmoonstars

I think we have too much government as it is.  I think people should be able to decide where to build their businesses.

tyfry... tyfry7496

No. Teens just need to be taught how to eat healthy and moderation. They are going to eat fast food anyway, so it really doesn't matter if it is close to the school or not. Also, fast food is probably better for them than school lunches. Some of the school lunched at my sons school aren't even edible, they are disgusting and dripping with grease. Atleast at fast food joints, the kids can get salads and healthier options now.

beach... beachmamaof2

This is not the gov'ts place.  As parents WE are responsible for teaching our children about proper nutrition and balance in eating.  I don't want the local or Federal gov't telling me what I can or can not eat or where!  What next?

Eilish Eilish

NO!


It is not the government's responsibility to parent kids.

Mythi... MythicMMM

that will put some places in quite a pickle. like my old highschool that was built across the street from a MCds. who would have to move?

auror... aurorabunny

There still are really no healthy options at fast food restaurants.  Most people aren't aware of this, but the majority of the salad offerings contain more fat and calories than the burgers!

Eilish Eilish

aurorabunny


I absolutely agree that fast food is garbage and only poisons to our bodies. But if we allow the government to ban one kind of food, what is to stop them from banning organic food (for example) because it might have microbes on the surface that are bad for you. They might tell us that irradiated food is the best food for us, because it is sure to kill all of the microbes that might make us sick. Maybe then they'll tell me that medicinal herbs are also bad for me, and will ban those forcing me to use pharmaceuticals which I believe will poison my body.


Gosh this sounds vaguely familiar ... where have I heard this before???


Oh yeah .... HR-875, The Food Safety and Modernization Act


Perhaps we should just be content with teaching our children how to eat healthy and what kinds of foods (or fast food joints) to stay away from.


Let ME parent my children; I am perfectly capable of doing it!

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