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Could you live without fast food?

By Michelle Edelbaum, January 22, 2009 - 3:36am

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I’ll be honest, except for a few fries I’ve stolen from my husband’s late-night McDonald’s stops, I haven’t eaten fast food from a chain restaurant in more than 10 years. Really.

I’m probably in the minority on that one, since millions of people regularly eat fast food. But that number could be on the decline if cities like Los Angeles have their way. Last summer L.A. lawmakers banned fast-food chains from opening new outlets in South L.A. The goals? Reduce obesity and encourage new healthier food choices and food outlets.

Is this bogus or not—what do you think? I, and the other editors at EatingWell, wondered whether people think a ban on new fast-food restaurants would be effective at accomplishing these goals, so we asked three experts and our readers to tell us: “Do you support banning new fast-food restaurants?”

We received answers that ranged from an emphatic “Yes!” to don’t-take-away-my-fries-or-I’ll-slap-you “No!” and everything in between.

Here’s a sampling—check out all the responses on for yourself and add your own opinion.

“I wish people would stop trying to DICTATE what I can and cannot eat.“ —Sandy, Brockway, PA

“I am in favor of a ban. Most of the healthier options at fast food chains don't last long. Until healthier options are presented and people buy them, there is no reason to continue to open more venues for people to make poor food, health, and lifestyle choices.” —Julie, Tacoma, WA

Food for thought, for sure. But maybe what I really need to chew on are some healthy fast-food alternatives I can make at home, like ultra-quick dinners ready in 20 minutes or less and fruit desserts ready in under 15 minutes. Now that’s fast food I can live with.

TAGS: Michelle Edelbaum, Health Blog

Michelle Edelbaum
Michelle is the digital director for EatingWell. She puts her background in journalism to work at to help deliver daily inspiration for eating healthy.

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