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Gingersnap
10-13-2009, 12:57 PM
Obesity concerns spur calls to limit new convenience stores in South L.A.

The proposed rules, an outgrowth of last year's city restrictions on new fast-food restaurants, are prompted by links found by researchers between snack foods and obesity in poor communities.

By Jerry Hirsch

October 12, 2009
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Links found by researchers between snack foods and obesity in poor communities are prompting new calls for more regulation of convenience stores in South Los Angeles.

The proposed new regulations under discussion are an outgrowth and expansion of last year's city restrictions on new fast-food restaurants in a 32-square-mile area of South Los Angeles. The area is home to about 500,000 residents, including those who live in West Adams, Baldwin Hills and Leimert Park.

Motivated by new data focusing on convenience stores, civic activists and a City Council member favor limiting the development of new convenience stores.

A study by Santa Monica think tank Rand Corp. published in the research journal Health Affairs last week said calories from snacks were a likely culprit of higher obesity rates in South Los Angeles. The authors also found that South Los Angeles had a dramatically higher concentration of the type of small convenience store that sells caloric snacks than other sections of the city.

Separately, researchers looking at the shopping patterns of schoolchildren in urban Philadelphia found that more than half the 800 students they surveyed reported that they shopped at a corner store at least once a day, five times a week. Almost a third visited a store both before and after school.

On average, the students spent about $1 and purchased 356 calories of snack foods and drinks each visit. Chips, candy, sugary beverages and gum were the most frequent purchases, according to a study published online today. It also will appear in the November edition of Pediatrics, a medical journal.

How to curb such purchases is a top priority for policymakers attempting to reduce the obesity rates in poor communities.

"We need to look at a moratorium on these convenience stores," said Lark Galloway-Gilliam, executive director of Community Health Councils Inc., a nonprofit health policy and education organization in South Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles City Council is set to consider a proposal that would limit the density of these small food stores in South Los Angeles, said Councilwoman Jan Perry, a proponent of regulations adopted last year establishing a moratorium on new openings of fast-food restaurants whose 9th District includes much of South Los Angeles.

The proposal, part of the developing Southeast Los Angeles Community Plan, would prohibit such small neighborhood markets from being closer than one-half mile from one another unless they sold fresh fruit and vegetables.

Although a half-mile separation may sound dense, it represents a restrictive requirement in her council district, which is only 14 square miles, Perry said. The proposal would only affect new development and would go to the City Council next year, she added.

"It's a carrot and a stick approach," Perry said.

Despite the studies that link snack calories with higher obesity rates in poor communities, regulating the location of stores might not be helpful, said Roland Sturm, who coauthored the Rand study with colleague Deborah Cohen.

The Rand study said that almost 26% of the residents of South Los Angeles are considered obese, according to the study. That compares with about 18% of the residents of Los Angeles County who live in higher-income neighborhoods.

"Clearly these stores are a source of excess calories, especially in children," Sturm said, "But people need access to food that is reachable."

His research found that residents of South Los Angeles are far more likely to walk or use public transportation to shop for food than Angelenos who live in other sections of the city, and that limits their choices.

"I would be hesitant to prohibit the development of these stores," Sturm said, because residents of the community don't have other easy-to-reach places to purchase food to be consumed at home.

Maybe poor people don't like baby spinach. I know I'd rather eat a candy bar than a plate of beans.

LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-stores12-2009oct12,0,2469583.story)

lacarnut
10-13-2009, 01:58 PM
Did it ever occur to these dimwit politicians that exercise (Phys. Ed) during school hours would help greatly. I am surrounded by 3 schools and every afternoon I see kids jogging past my house. See very few overweight kids from the 2 Catholic and magnet schools.

Jfor
10-13-2009, 02:06 PM
I thought it was the McDonald's and Chicken and Waffles causing the obesity in LA and that's why they have banned any new ones going up.

Rockntractor
10-13-2009, 02:18 PM
Now I'm in the mood for some more Amish butter pecan caramel fudge. It's like homemade caramel with a butter pecan fudge crust. The pecans make it healthy!

Gingersnap
10-13-2009, 02:35 PM
I thought it was the McDonald's and Chicken and Waffles causing the obesity in LA and that's why they have banned any new ones going up.

It's the KFC AND the Slim Jims. Stupid poor people.




Mostly it's the insufferable smugness of white do-gooders who themselves live across the street from Whole Foods. :mad:

bijou
10-13-2009, 03:19 PM
So, fat people eat more snacks than thin people and so they should be prevented from buying snacks. Have these genii any idea how short a distance half a mile is?

Gingersnap
10-13-2009, 03:42 PM
So, fat people eat more snacks than thin people and so they should be prevented from buying snacks. Have these genii any idea how short a distance half a mile is?

Apparently not. They won't make any inroads into low-income obesity until they admit that it's a cultural problem, not a caloric problem.

Look at any inner city situation where welfare and government assistance is plentiful and note the girth of the inhabitants (these can be of any color/language). Now go to any upscale retail situation and do the same thing. Why is it different?

It's different because it's simply socially unacceptable for college-educated, upper middle-class people with career ambitions to be fat. The fat acceptance movement has made zero inroads among upper management career types, yoga studios, cross-country ski lodges, or spa habitués. "Junk in the trunk" is for other people.

Because the prejudice is so great, these people watch their weight like hawks. People in blue collar jobs, McJobs, and the chronically unemployed face no such prejudice among their own social circles so gaining 20 pounds doesn't mean much to them one way or the other.

Elspeth
10-13-2009, 03:48 PM
356 calories is a candy bar. So kids are going to corner stores and buying a candy bar. We did that as kids and the government didn't give a goddamn. We also walked a lot and played outside. The problem with today's kids is that they don't move.

Eagle
10-13-2009, 07:44 PM
In my opinion these kids were given lunch money by their parents to get some decent food while at school. The kids decide to buy crap with the lunch money because they probably qualify for a free lunch at school. Cut out the free meals at school and maybe they will use the lunch money that their parents gave them for the right thing. Better yet don't give them any lunch money and let them pack a lunch from home.

JackKetch
10-15-2009, 09:39 AM
356 calories is a candy bar. So kids are going to corner stores and buying a candy bar. We did that as kids and the government didn't give a goddamn. We also walked a lot and played outside. The problem with today's kids is that they don't move.

Just what I was thinking. In high school we often walked to two drug stores in town to eat French fries, drink Cokes, and listen to the jukebox. We ate sundaes and banana splits, too. Because we walked to the library, the movies, downtown stores, and walked to school, we didn't get fat. We also danced a lot, went swimming, skated at a rink.

AmPat
10-21-2009, 12:44 AM
We walked, ran, rode bikes, swam, played sports, etc. No PS1,2,3,,, WII etc. I still weigh in at close to my college weight and I'm 51 next month.