Big Brother Doesn't Want You Eating Burgers in LA

  • Obesity has a lot to do with how much TV children watch. This 2007 study of preschoolers reported that "watching over 2 hours/day of TV/videos was associated with being overweight or at risk for overweight."

  • The poverty-obesity link has a correlation to a difference in TV viewing habits. This study of 7- to 12-year-olds, apparently published in 2003, asserted as a fact that "low-income African-American children watch greater amounts of television than their peers."

  • As to fast food location density, if you excuse the expression, it's a chicken-egg thing. Fast food outlets and their franchisees only locate in an area after extensively studying population, traffic volumes and patterns, convenience, existing competition, and neighborhood trends. If it doesn't look like the demand is there, they won't locate there. If patronage at existing outlets exceeds expectations, over time more fast food outlets will enter the market.

And wait a minute: Didn't something really nasty happen in this area about, oh, 16 years ago? That's right, the LA riots. It seems to have been forgotten that when order was restored, one of the biggest concerns was whether businesses would want to build or rebuild in or near the affected area. Now that many businesses have done that, and "too many" happen to be fast food places, that's apparently not good enough.

But the most offensive aspect of the article is the blithe assumption on the part of Vick and many whom he quoted that no nutritional fare is available at fast food restaurants. For cryin' out loud, that assertion has been untrue for at least the 29 years Wendy's has had salad bars or a la carte salads. Is it really possible that Karl Vick and his layers of fact-checkers and editors don't know this?

In case he doesn't patronize fast food chains himself, Vick could have foraged through this marvelous creation known as the Internet and visited their respective web sites. Look what he could have found in mere moments:


Links (not all links will display properly in all browsers): Wendy's; McDonald's; Burger King; KFC.

Despite all of this, one person quoted, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, executive director of Community Coalition, had the gall to say, "You try to get a salad within 20 minutes of our location, it's virtually impossible."

Really? Using the now-demonstrated salad-serving chains' restaurant locators for either the 90044 zip code or the specific address given for Mr. Harris-Dawson's organization, one learns that there are:

Instead of swallowing whole the "food apartheid" slop that Ms. Perry, Mr. Harris-Dawson, and others were feeding him, Mr. Vick should have been asking them whose fault it is if customers aren't choosing of their own free will the nutritious foods obviously and readily available at the fast food outlets they patronize.

What's next? Quotas on the number of different types of meals that can be served? Oops -- I probably shouldn't have written that. Now the food police have yet another idea.