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Last week the City of Los Angeles enacted the wildest food-related public health legislation yet: It imposed a yearlong moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Since metropolitan areas across the country have expelled soda from schools, posted calorie counts next to menu items, and banned trans fats, L.A’s move isn’t totally surprising. But the city’s initiative takes the political food fight to a new level: According to the article, this is the first time any government has outlawed a certain type of restaurant for health, as opposed to aesthetic, reasons. And, the extreme change begs the question: How will the rest of the country react?
Denver, says local restaurant consultant John Imbergamo, shouldn’t expect major changes. The city government, which hasn’t even considered banning trans fats or requiring calorie posts, is unlikely to take political action when it comes to food. Indeed, the mayor’s office doesn’t even know of any local movements interested in imposing these kinds of restrictions. Considering that Denver is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s healthiest and thinnest cities, perhaps the answer to good eating isn’t a matter of legislation.