A Quart of Milk, a Loaf of Bread ... and Childhood Obesity?

The Los Angeles City Council considers a proposal to limit the development of new corner stores in South L.A.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A wave of obesity blamed (at least in part) on kids slurping cheap slushies and scarfing chips from local convenience stores has the Los Angeles City Council considering an unusual proposal: limiting the development of new corner stores in South L.A. Is the council's proposed moratorium a smart way to address a public health epidemic? Or is it an unfair attack on the convenient storefronts that serve low-income neighborhoods, where big chain grocery stores don't dare to enter?

We speak to public health expert Dr. Deborah Cohen; Lark Galloway-Gilliam, the executive director of a nonprofit health policy and education organization in South Los Angeles; and Jeff Lenard, the spokesperson for the National Association of Convenience Stores.

"The problem is that we have too many food cues that make us hungry, and make us eat too much. People were designed to overeat."
—Public health expert Dr. Deborah Cohen, on the danger that the kinds of cheap, highly processed foods usually available in convenience stores pose to public health


Dr. Deborah Cohen, Lark Galloway-Gilliam and Jeff Lenard


Molly Webster

Comments [3]

Ricardo Salas

Hello Take Away,

The obesity problem I believe, comes from a business attitude of "increase profits/margins per share" inculcated in the business model in America. While trying to make stockholders more money each year, or else risk losing the stockholders so they can make money elsewhere, companies are forced to produce products as cheaply as possible, as long as they look and taste like the real thing... but at the expense of what? or who?

Convenience stores are not to blame, the entire business model should be revamped. What would happen today if McDonald's decided to make the most nutritious hamburgers they could make? Would they lose customers or stockholders? In order for them to do what is right, they have to decrease profit margins and invest in better ingredients...

But all hope is not lost, there are entrepreneurs like me in the world, who with our products we are hoping to change the way companies do business, by doing what is right at all costs!

Oct. 13 2009 12:12 PM

Very informative article and heading the right direction. SUGAR in all forms, especially high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oils are the big problem and this is good to see.

I follow independent health and nutrition researcher and writer, Matt Stone at: http://www.180degreehealth.com. He is extremely knowledgeable, but totally unbiased in his work. We have a national eating disorder which is sponsored and perpetuated by the food and drug companies, which are large components of the medical/research/pharma complex. We must take the focus off of limiting calories and put it on nutrient rich whole foods. The medical/research/pharma complex puts the emphasis on "low fat" products and produces them cheaply, while SUGAR is the addictive substance that we find in almost everything we eat. Follow the money.

Oct. 13 2009 11:23 AM
Russell johnson

The LA City Council might better serve citizens by investigating ways of creating locally controlled food cooperatives that reach-out to local growers and promote a hethier diet. The advantages are community owned and controlled businesses that develop community involvement, increase understanding of diet and nutrition and stimulate the local economy. Instead of relying on a ban, seed grass-root efforts to establish local food cooperatives.

Oct. 13 2009 09:22 AM

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