Should U.S. Ban Fast Food near Schools?
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London is prohibiting fast food restaurants from opening within a quarter mile of schools in order to fight obesity. Should American cities also adopt this policy and does proximity to fast food lead to unhealthy habits and weight gain?
The Doctors explain that according to one study, students who were within a half mile of a fast-food restaurant were found to eat fewer fruits and vegetables and drink more soda. They note that a similar program was started in Los Angeles, but that it was not very successful as there were so many existing fast-food options near schools. They suggest that if fast food places are banned that affordable healthy options need to be created in that area to provide more food choices.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork feels that people will always go to fast food establishments and that the solution is having those restaurants offer healthy meals. He adds, "[Kids] just want to eat foods that taste good. So for them, whether it's healthy or not doesn't matter. But if it tastes good and can be healthy, they will eat that."
The Doctors would also like to see schools offer healthier options in their cafeterias as well.