Fast food fight

Listen to the audio story from Annenberg Radio News:

imageBy Sean Patrick Lewis

“Can I have your chicken pot pie…”

Pot pies… fried chicken… burgers…

“Ya make that two sodas.”

Oh, and don’t forget the drink.

If you’re in South LA, any fast food you want, you can have in minutes.

And if anyone knows a thing or two about fast-food, it’s father-of-three Joe Vidal… who picked up his family’s dinner at Taco Bell.

“Everywhere you go in South L.A. if you’re driving by… you come probably like from here to Manchester there’s probably like 13 stores… fast food restaurants… that’s why we’re all like this… “

Vidal laughs about his bulging belly, but it was that troubling “fat fact” that had city leaders looking for change.

Two years ago, the LA City Council approved a moratorium on fast food in South LA.

That meant no new fast food restaurants, period. And for Gwendolyn Flynn of the Community Health Councils… it couldn’t have come any sooner.

“We found we have an over concentration of fast food restaurants in South Los Angeles, there’s high rates of obesity, there’s high rates of diabetes, other chronic illnesses that are diet-related that have to do with the ones we are concentrating on… cardiovascular disease, you know, and even cancers.”

Flynn says it’s still too early to tell if the ban made any impact, but has worked making people think about community health for themselves.

“If we can have a place, a location in South Los Angeles that can offer different options that make it easy for people to make good choices, I think they will make good choices.”

Choices Joe Vidal might make for his family’s next meal.

“Are you worried about your kids at all?”

“We try not to eat as much fast food…but I guess yeah, I do worry about my kids, ‘cause that’s all they see, that’s all they see around here. Just wish they’d have a lot better food for us here.”

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