Reason.tv: LA Food Police Ban Burger Joints - Is Your City Next?

First Lady Michelle Obama hopes to curb childhood obesity by teaching children about nutrition and exercise. "There's no expert on this planet who says that the government telling people what to do actually does any good with this issue," she says.

But local government officials around the country have already adopted a more forceful tack, whether it's New York's salt assault, San Francisco's frown at Happy Meals or, most recently, South LA's all-out ban on new fast-food restaurants.

Reason.tv spoke with Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks, one of the architects behind the ban, who argues that "in order to force choice into the market, we have to limit one that is overconcentrated and attract others that provide other options."

Reason Magazine editor in chief Matt Welch is skeptical of "the idea that you can create more choices by reducing choices," and fitness consultant and documentary filmmaker Chazz Weaver—who ate McDonald's for 30 days and lost body fat—points out that consumers can eat fast food in moderation and still stay healthy. Reason.tv also spoke with the co-owner of The Burger Stand in South Los Angeles about why he thinks that banning new fast-food restaurants is bad for business and bad for his community. 

Writer-Producer: Zach Weissmueller. Senior Producer: Ted Balaker. Camera: Hawk Jensen, Paul Detrick, Alex Manning.

Approximately 8 minutes.

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  • Warty||

    "In order to force choice into the market..."

    Fucking telling phrase, isn't it?

  • Matrix||

    force... it's all they know how to do

  • Come on now||

    It's like voluntary compliance.....

  • anarch||

    a more forceful tact

    RC Deanz Law wins again.

  • Paul||

    force... it's all they know how to do

    No, it's all they understand.

  • ||

    "it's all they know how to do" BECAUSE "it's all they understand".

    Disagreement Nullified.

  • Joe M||

    Seriously, that is fucking head explody.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    They better not fuck with Fat Burger.

  • Kristen||

    Have a 30" waist is more important than having a job!! That's soooooo L.A.

  • ||

    That's especially so L.A. because the very claims they make about obesity have little scientific support, or are even reverse. I bet they don't have a similar policy against gyms, yet the evidence for exercise helping weight loss is thin at best. And the FDA food pyramid recommendations? Best evidence is that eating sugars and starches makes you fat, eating fats doesn't.
    Another way of looking at this is why were there no 300lb Inuit back when they ate a diet in which 50% to 75% of their calories came from animal fat?

  • ||

    I'd love to see Michelle look a Masai in the eye and tell him the is eating wrong, then hand him a copy of the USDA Death Pyramid.

  • Doc S||

    On what basis are youAre you stating that exercise doesnt help weight loss? Are you refering to the offset due to gained muscle mass?? Exercise certainly encourages weight and more importantly fat loss. Plus since it takes more calories to feed muscle mass than fat it has the added benefit of further increasing weight loss.
    Work out harder - I'll agree with the comments about starches and sugars though.

  • ||

    the "weight loss" terminology irresponsibly conflates LBM and bodyfat. it's the same reason why the BMI is so bogus. I say that as a weight classed athlete, who is borderline obese according to the BMI.

  • Doc S.||

    Played D1 strong safety and was 6'2" 230 classified as obese - I give no credence to BMI

  • Doktor Zombie||

    What do they mean "too many fast food restaurants" and too many wig shops and barbershops? It seems to me they're using QSR's and private businesses as strawmen to attack something that really comes down to aesthetics?

    In this case, one cannot claim that race has anything to do with it. It smells like class warfare.

  • Michelle Obama||

    I prefer to consider myself as callipygian.

  • Lowdog||

    I like big butts, and I cannot lie, but I do not find Michelle Obama attractive.

  • Nanny Big Butt||

    Gregory, you are now on my enemies list.

  • Edwin||

    like the tattoo-parlor ban in that California city, or the ban on sodomy in I think it was Alabama, these rules are way outside of the reasonable police power of the state. Were I a judge, I would overturn them on that grounds alone.

    There's a difference between protecting from acute dangers like food poisoning or potentially toxic ingredients, and trying to instill life-long healthfulness that is largely a product of people's choices no matter what you do.

  • ||

    Like we'd ever make YOU a judge!

  • Edwin||

    you're being facetious but that is actually part of the problem; most judges are recruited from the ranks of lawyers. I might like to see requirements that judges have been involved in commerce in some way before they get appointed.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I heard something interesting about that. Judges, I've heard, tend to respect the importance of Attorney/Client privilege and be sympathetic to other lawyer specific issues while they are more than willing walk all over Doctor/Patient confidentiality in pursuit of "justice".

  • Fiscal Meth||

    He actually said "We have to train people to..." TRAIN them?!!? Fuck You!! Don't tell me what people ought and ought not be able to do "by right" because it interferes with your training of them! How do you figure that it is "by right" that you should be training anybody by force and paying yourself from the pockets of the people you're training by force? Fuck you!

  • ||

    Who the hell voted for these assholes?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    When you put it that way, maybe L.A. deserves its rulers.(I exclude myself because I'm finally getting out of this slave pen.)

  • Doc S||

    I'm fine with them training people to eat better. Lower's my health insurance premiums when I have less fatties having heart attacks.
    2/3 of american adults are overweight or obese and 1/3 of children are, thats fucking disgusting.
    Don't tell me big is beautiful... Big is lazy, and lackin self motivation

  • Fiscal Meth||

    You don't have a right to be surrounded by skinny people asshole. You do not have a right to be surrounded by people who drive down your insurance premiums asshole. You have every right to move to France or make your case and convince people here to eat differently, but you don't have a right to have your preferences socially engineered into people.

  • Doc S||

    That's an awful arguement. I never insinuated that I have the right to be surrounded by skinny people, but clearly I do as I can choose the people that surround me by my actions and choices. If I want to avoid DISGUSTINGLY fat people it's not hard to do - although its definately getting harder here in the U.S.
    That's one thing I love about being in Brazil half the year, way less fatties.

    I'm not sure how you can say that I don't have rights to do something as simple as making choices in my life, it actually is completely against what you stand for- that's some awful logic.

  • ||

    Wow Doc....you are fine with them training people to....whatever?
    What else are you fine with them training people to do? How would you like it if I get to decide what you are trained to do?

  • Doc S.||

    If it was in my best interest's and the best interest for the country/ world population as a whole concerning something such as fueling your body properly I would be absolutely fine with it.
    It's not like they're "training" people to kill themselves or hurt themselves in anyway. There's a huge difference between policy goals and actual implementation, and I am in no way saying that this is a well designed policy, but the idea behind it is a positive one for the population.

  • Paul||

    California truly attracts the most retarded people into government. They're like a magnet state for retards. What's their secret?

  • ||

    Well, government in general attracts the worst sort of people - either people who feel they are qualified by virtue of their superiority to make life choices for everyone else or people see an opportunity to use the sanction of government to inflict their sociopathology on others. There are likely a handful of idealists who see the platform of government to try to make life better for others, but even these people are misguided.

  • Slobbering Drunk||

    Bernard Parks was the horrible Police Chief that we brought in from Cleveland(?). He couldn't pass the test to even legally carry a firearm, so they granted him an exception. And here he is, still sucking off the taxpayer teat. "Forcing more choices into the market". Truly a genius.

  • ||

    remember with this lot its do as I say not as I do. Michelles fat ass isn't from a lack of missing any high calorie meals.

  • ||

    Is Bernard Parks getting pressure from EXISTING restaurants who don't want any competition? I bet that plays into it, on top of his general proclivity for being a power hungry bureaucrat.

  • ||

    Sad to see the homeland of In and Out falling down like this.

  • brec||

    "adopted a more forceful tact"

    dictionary.com:
    tact
    tack

  • ||

    Whoops. Fixed that. Thanks.

  • DDavis||

    Affirmative action and quotas for businesses historically discriminated against by consumer preference. Wow.

    Just finished reading Atlas Shrugged in anticipation of the movie release. It seems cartoonish at times, until you look at the world and see an even more ridiculous cartoon.

  • Tim||

    If poor people enjoy it (burgers, liquor, smokes, wife beating) you can bet the NPR crowd wants to ban it.

  • amused||

    (burgers, liquor, smokes, wife beating)
    You mean like the president?

    Well ... I assume the wife beats him.

  • Robert||

    Actually restricting one kind of restaurant could increase the variety of restaurants in the area, but only by increasing the overall cost of service. That's because restaurants that were marginally priced out of the market could be competitive without the...competition. How many such restaurants? Probably not a whole lot, probably not just by a moratorium; you'd probably have to close a lot of existing fast food joints before that margin would be moved enough for anyone to notice.

  • Kid Presentable||

  • ||

    I've said it before but it's amazing how on the mark the Demolition Man writers were in terms of where we were heading.

  • ||

    It's not a ban; it's a process.

  • ||

    Those Burger Stand burgers look damn good!

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