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CNN 'Fit Nation' Force Feeds Big Helping of Government

     One Los Angeles councilwoman wants to take a bite out of obesity by blocking fast food restaurants. CNN served up its November 16 report on the food fight with extra relish calling it “a good first step.”

     One Los Angeles councilwoman wants to take a bite out of obesity by blocking fast food restaurants. CNN served up its November 16 report on the food fight with extra relish calling it “a good first step.”

 

     “American Morning” co-host John Roberts introduced Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s “Fit Nation” segment about “a Los Angeles community that’s taking zoning to a healthier level.”

 

     Gupta’s segment focused on L.A. city councilwoman Jan Perry and her plan to place a one-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in her district. Perry told CNN, “This is an effort to push forward a healthier agenda, to give people some choices that they have not historically had.”

 

     The CNN doctor supported Perry, saying “[A]lthough obesity may not be eliminated entirely, studies show zoning laws are a good first step to fighting the problem.”


     Gupta even repeated Perry’s unusual claim that “in some places in her district it’s easier to get a handgun than it is to get some of these fruits and vegetables.” If true, that might explain why grocery stores and restaurants are reluctant to do business in South L.A.

 

     CNN did not include a single critic of the plan, although Gupta undermined Perry’s position when he admitted the fast-food restaurants “dot[ting] the landscape” of South L.A. offer “healthy alternatives.”

 

     “But people have to choose them,” said Gupta stating the obvious.

 

     Gupta also downplayed and ignored some options that exist for residents of South L.A. He complained that there are few supermarkets in the area, but according to October 15 USA Today, “Two supermarkets are within a half block of the intersection [in the heart of South L.A.]. A street vendor does a brisk business selling fresh cut fruit.”

 

     Despite Perry’s desire to bring in sit-down restaurants and grocery stores and to make fruits and vegetables more available, just because you “build it” doesn’t mean “they will come.”

 

     “CBS Evening News” reported on November 7 that “Dr. [Maxine] Liggins fought for years to get this farmer’s market in Watts [part of South L.A.]. It’s been running three months on Saturday mornings, but hasn’t attracted many customers yet.”

     “I don’t think the government should ever be in the position of a parent, in effect, and telling people, ‘You’re eating too many hamburgers. Stop doing that. Eat more vegetables,’ Onkar Ghate of Ayn Rand Institute told “Evening News.”