Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Health Zoning

The LA Times reports:
As America gets fatter, policymakers are seeking creative approaches to legislating health. They may have entered the school cafeteria -- and now they're eyeing your neighborhood.

Amid worries of an obesity epidemic and its related illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, Los Angeles officials, among others around the country, are proposing to limit new fast-food restaurants -- a tactic that could be called health zoning.

The City Council will be asked this fall to consider an up to two-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in South L.A., a part of the city where fast food is at least as much a practicality as a preference.
After reading this I'm reminded of Patrick Henry:
"Give Me Liberty. . . ."

While this sort of government policy seems nonsense to me, it does seem to make sense to some people:
"While limiting fast-food restaurants isn't a solution in itself, it's an important piece of the puzzle," said Mark Vallianatos, director of the Center for Food and Justice at Occidental College.

This is "bringing health policy and environmental policy together with land-use planning," he said. "I think that's smart, and it's the wave of the future."
Please, no, not the future. My hat-tip to Peter Gordon who writes:
In the goofiness sweepstakes, the professors and the politcians continue to battle it out.

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