Curbs on Fast-Food Outlets Fail to Dent Obesity in South L.A.

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Donna Horton shops at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza farmers market to buy fresh produce. (Credit: Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times)

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People in South Los Angeles have a complex relationship with their McDonald’s, Taco Bells, Pizza Huts and KFCs.

Now, as evidence mounts that the Los Angeles City Council’s ban on new fast-food restaurants is so far failing, leaders and thinkers are again scrutinizing the role restaurants of all kinds play or could play in this historically troubled cluster of largely low-income neighborhoods.

Seven years ago, the city pushed through the nation’s first ordinance to focus on public health and fast food, at least in part because a community health nonprofit had lobbied tenaciously for the regulation as a way to fight obesity — a problem that is typically worse in poorer neighborhoods.

But despite passionate arguments that the law would encourage healthier, sit down-style restaurants to come to the area, a Los Angeles Times analysis shows the food landscape here remains unchanged.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

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