Tag Archives: eating habits

Should Fast-Food be Restricted to the Rich?

Rich Fast-Food?  Picture courtesy of mcdonalds.com
Rich Fast-Food? Picture courtesy of mcdonalds.com

In this fast-paced world we live in, more and more people have less spare time on their hands. So rather than getting home at 7.30pm, searching the cupboards and fridge for the last $100 we spent on ingredients to chop and prepare, we opt for the 5 minute detour to the closest McDonald’s for our dinner. “Just tonight”, we say. But what happens to those of us, who not only don’t have the time, but don’t have the money to prepare a healthy, nutrient-rich meal every night?

In the U.S a recent ban on the construction of fast-food restaurants has been approved by the Los Angeles City Council. The one-year moratorium restricts new fast-food restaurants from being built in a low income area, and is hoping to combat the higher levels of obesity in this vicinity.

William Saletan published an article, Food Apartheid: Banning fast food in poor neighborhoods, in Slate Magazine, an online U.S publication, arguing against the decision.

“We’re not talking anymore about preaching diet and exercise, disclosing calorie counts, or restricting sodas in schools. We’re talking about banning the sale of food to adults. Treating French fries like cigarettes or liquor.”

Saletan argues that the ‘poor’ people are being treated like children; vulnerable, dependent and helpless, with the council dictating where and what they can eat.

Fast-food can be healthy too.  Picture courtesy of Subway.com

Fast-food can be healthy too. Picture courtesy of Subway.com

While I’m all for healthier take-away options, restricting certain restaurants to certain income brackets may not be the best way about it.  The recent wave of healthier menu options in most fast-food restaurants and increasing awareness about proper eating habits have so far been the best stepping stones, and cater for long term effects, not just short term restrictions.

Yes, for most of us a Big Mac is a far easier option than sweating it out in the kitchen, but a chicken salad or 6″ Sub ain’t bad either.