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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Agent... AgentBrez

aurorabunny- there are healthy options you just need to know what they are. if you get a salad, make sure to not use the extra fixings they give you with it, and have low cal dressing. have grilled chicken with no mayo instead of fried. those are just a few of the healthy options out there. and even if those were the ONLY options, it still exists.

kitty... kittymommy

PARENTS need to make decisions in regards to their childrens diets not the government. Its bad enough that in cali there is 'no trans fat' in our fast food but now they want to move them away from schools? Fast food is crap I will give you that but really? Maybe they should stop taking recess and PE away from kids in school how about that??

auror... aurorabunny

I just think it's disgusting and it unarguably has no benefit to anyone , in fact quite the opposite.  Kind of like cigarettes, except cigarettes are sold to children and that's really my biggest beef with fast food. 

auror... aurorabunny

cigarettes AREN'T sold to children.  OMG CM how long do I have to plead and beg for a comment edit button!

auror... aurorabunny

Oh and BTW I agree it's bull that they're taking away recess and PE in a lot of schools.  Just one more step towards us becoming a fat, lazy unhealthy nation.

fluud7 fluud7

oh please. is there anything ELSE the government could POSSIBLY get involved in? parents need to teach their children good eating habits by LIVING BY EXAMPLE.

Kwann... KwannKailynsMom

I don't think they should ban fast food resturants near schools. I think parents should teach their kids the importance of eating right..EVERYTHING STARTS AT HOME!!!

bella... bella69147

We have a McDonalds and pizzeria right next door to our school.

Karina Rizzo Pineiro

Our government should not have the authority to ban fast food restaurants near schools, or anywhere else, for that matter. As many others have written here, it's the parents' responsibility to teach their kids about making healthy choices. This being said, people can still occasionally indulge in a burger or a slice of pizza and still keep a relatively healthy diet. The key is to not allow it to become a part of their regular diet and to teach kids about a variety of foods so they won't always be craving the same unhealthy options.



fmchavez fmchavez

Put simply, no. Parents and teens need to make that choice. I couldn't buy fast food because my mom only put money on my school lunch account, not money in my pocket. We actually had decent lunches at my school thought. For those without good lunches, sometimes the fast food is better than what is being served at school.

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