Healthy Eating Mandates

You may have seen this news, that the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban development of new fast food restaurants in a low income South L.A. area. I’m not sure it’s going to help much, but I understand (I think) the intent of the ordinance, which is that people will choose what’s available.

There’s some truth in that, as I’ve learned over the past year. Eliminating my “snack stash” of chips and dips and ::sob:: Little Debbie Swiss Rolls has changed how I think about snacking and what I (usually) reach for first when a snack attack occurs. When your only choices are fruit, almonds, sugar-free pudding, low-fat yogurt or cheese (or maybe a dark chocolate Hershey’s Stick if it’s one of those times), your mind and body begin to expect those types of foods to fill that between-meal void. When you’ve also built an exercise habit, your mind starts calculating the benefits of what you’re snacking on. (Said the woman who is almost always short on protein!)

The problem I see in South L.A., besides cultural and socio-economic shifts, is that unless healthier and affordable eating establishments move in, the existing fast food options are just going to see a lot more business.

Your thoughts? Can we legislate healthy eating? Should we?