One Montréal borough is moving to limit the number of Fast Food joints within its boundaries in a nod towards healthier eating and healthier living, in general. But some critics are asking if the proposal goes far enough while others wonder if such a move will really improve the public’s health?
It’s been tried elsewhere…
So there is some hard evidence to go on. And some of it is … well … unexpected. Fast food ‘controls’ imposed some years ago in South Los Angeles either backfired or were not nearly robust enough to stay the march of obesity in the community.
Some say the ongoing poverty of the area means people will naturally opt for cheaper Fast Food options rather than paying more for healthier foods. Which is to say, they might eat better if they could afford to. But others say folks who consume a lot of Fast Food, or even a little on a regular basis, are probably addicted to the Fat, Salt and Sugar which are the mainstay of most Fast Food menu items.
And what of those sumptuous prepared ‘Slow Food’ meals and entrées you can get at the Deli or the Supermarket? More than one university study has revealed that they can be more Calorie-laden than fast Food Burger-and-Fry meals. And some have just as much Fat, Salt and Sugar.
Meanwhile, back in Montréal…
The borough of Notre-Dame-de-Grace (NDG) seems to subscribe to the theory, recently presented in the Journal of the Canadian Public Health Association, that the density of Fast Food Restaurants in a community correlates directly to the obesity rate there.
But that’s just one of the measures in a nine-point motion before the NDG Borough Council designed to encourage, ” the adoption of physically active lifestyles, healthy nutritional habits and the right to a quality natural environment.”
Along with limiting Fast Food joints, NDG seeks to establish more community gardens and promote farmer’s markets and ‘healthy food’ stores across the borough.
But I, for one, don’t hold out much hope for nutritional measures in the initiative unless people in general surprise the heck out of me and change their preferences from fast, easy and cheap to slower, more complex and more expensive. You can’t legislate Human Nature.
~ Maggie J.