Monday, April 20, 2009

Gioia Advocates Against Fast Food Near Schools

Councilman and Public Advocate candidate Eric Gioia is looking to make news besides from the weekly Public Advocate forums between him and his three competitors. Going off a recent study examining the distance of fast food restaurants and public schools, Gioia wants to do something about the increased obesity rates that are being found.

From The NY Times:

“With the proliferation of fast-food restaurants directly around schools, it’s a clear and present danger to our children’s health,” said Mr. Gioia, who proposed the ban at a news conference at a school opposite a McDonald’s in TriBeCa on Sunday.

“A fast-food restaurant on the corner can have a terrible impact on a child’s life,” he said. “Obesity, diabetes, hypertension — it’s a step toward a less healthy life.”

Under Mr. Gioia’s proposal, new fast-food restaurants would be prohibited within a tenth of a mile of schools; existing locations would be exempt.
While the fast food industry is quick to whine about this or any information that puts them in a negative light, the actual proposal is rather weak. Creating a two-block (Manhattan street-sized that is) sounds more like a ploy to grab a headline than anything else. With the amount of advertising, child-friendly gimmicks and permits allowed for fast food establishments in the city, kids won't mind walking an extra three to five hundred feet to get that extra thousands calories clogged inside those young arteries.

Gioia is going to have to do better than a 1/10th of a mile ban on fast food restaurants if he plans on convincing us of his advocation for children's health.