If a city's populace is fat it must be the restaurants' fault, right?
That's the premise of a proposed
The report, by Bill Whitaker, featured an area of
Whitaker ticked off the list of all the things working against the community, “low incomes, few parks for exercise and the rare grocery store.”
Whitaker didn't bother to explain why there is only one grocery store in the area. He didn't report that most of the fast food restaurants now carry healthy menu items. He never mentioned the “D” word – diet. Or the fact that people can exercise responsibility for their health by making better choices.
No, the vast majority of the story advanced the liberal mantra of government solutions – with a little “classism” and “elitism” thrown in too.
A Hispanic woman on the street said, “Nothing but fast food, you walk down the street, see KFC, Popeye's chicken, you don't see nothing but a liquor store or doughnut shop. We want supermarkets where we have vegetables and everything around us. You know what I mean? We're not just a whole bunch of greasy-eating drunk people.”
City Councilwoman Jan Perry: “It's classist. It's elitist. … If all you ever show people is fast food, then they may believe that that's all they're entitled to have.”
Whitaker did mention that “critics call the moratorium government meddling” and included a sound bite from a spokesman for the Ayn Rand Institute, who said, “I don't think the government should ever be in the position of a parent, in effect, in telling people 'you're eating too many hamburgers, stop doing that, eat more vegetables.'”
And Whitaker did mention that the doctor featured in the piece had worked hard to get a farmer's market in the area. Only trouble is not many folks are shopping there.
Perry, the city councilwoman, lamented the fact that the people in the community have few choices. In fact they have many. And while the local obesity rates may be boosted by the fast food smorgasbord, in the end the local obesity rates are really about a failure to exercise personal responsibility for individual health. No government moratorium can solve that problem.