6 Aug 2011

Should we ban fast food near schools?

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.

OK, I know. Obesity can be caused by lots of things including genetics, lack of exercise, and nutrition, but some researchers believe that fast food proximity to schools is a contributing factor. I may have eaten Taco Bell from time to time back in the day. Those spots were a hangout because it was cheap, fast, and (as they say) close to the school.
But the rate of diabetes and heart disease among young people is growing, so this is serious. 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. Should they go ahead and ban the restaurants that serve this kind of stuff, too?
Some CafeMoms feel parents are the ones who should teach their kids good eating habits, so they would make the right choices.
Is it enough to teach nutrition at home and in schools? Should fast food be banned near schools? What do you think should be done?
Written for CafeMom's Food & Party Buzz by Kim Conte 

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