Can government ban fast food?
After writing this week about the perfectionism-neutrality debate, I came across an interesting and related article in the Washington Post on a lawmaker that wants to prohibit Prince George’s from issuing new licenses to fast food restaurants in areas with high disease rates. Not surprisingly, opponents argue that what people eat is a matter of personal choice. But supporters claim that there are clear connections between poverty and fast food eating and between fast food and obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. The article cites a state study that found nearly 40% of Prince George’s county children under 11 were overweight and that most came from lower-income families. Indeed, one third of children in Prince George’s eat three or more fast food meals a week.
So, should government get involved in determining what food options are available? And if so, is it possible to make the case on a neutral basis?