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Austin's proposed resolution and ordinance may seem novel, but the fact is we've seen this story play out elsewhere.
Los Angeles first proposed a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in 2007 in an attempt to combat an obesity rate of 30% in South Los Angeles. The proposal became law in 2008.
"If you look at it per 100,000 residents, the area is not overrun with McDonald's," study co-author Roland Sturm said in 2009, referring to South Los Angeles. "The story about fast-food chains does not hold up."
One possible reason? Obesity in South Los Angeles, 30% in 2007, had climbed to 33% by 2012 despite the ban on new fast food restaurants.
Like Los Angeles, Austin is both a fantastic city and a fantastic city in which to eat. It boasts one of America's most vibrant and important food truck scenes. It's home to America's largest healthy organic grocer, Whole Foods. And its barbecue is among the country's best. It's got all those great options, and everything above, below, and in between.
Let's hope that an Austin that's great in large part because it offers so many food choices won't be made less so by a misguided city council proposal to ban fast food.