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Tackle other problems first

September 12, 2007

Re "A strict order for fast food," Sept. 10

In reading the article on the Los Angeles City Council's consideration of limiting fast-food restaurants in South L.A., I realized that I had apparently missed all the good news while out of town on a business trip. Apparently all the potholes had been fixed, the traffic lights coordinated, drive times had decreased, air pollution had been eliminated, gang violence was down and all our school kids were scoring above average.

C'mon, folks, no one elected you to keep people from making bad food choices. Fund a public education campaign if you want to, but you're insulting the decision-making authority of our citizens -- and no one elected you to do that.

Lon M. Burns

Manhattan Beach

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This article concludes that there are no guarantees that a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in South L.A. will actually lead to healthier eating habits. That is correct. It is not enough to just eliminate these types of businesses; we must also provide better, healthier options to create a healthier community. But South L.A. residents are only given bad options to choose from -- liquor stores rather than grocery stores, check-cashing centers rather than banks, health clinics rather than quality hospitals, and fast-food restaurants rather than sit-down restaurants. By providing more positive and healthier options all around, we could have a huge effect on not just obesity but on a range of problems affecting South L.A.

Marqueece

Harris-Dawson

Executive director

Community Coalition

South Los Angeles

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Why not restrict steakhouses on the Westside, where high blood pressure is prevalent? Or omelet parlors? Doughnut shops?

Andrea Shapiro

Beverly Hills

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