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Gioia to sponsor bill that will ban fast food restaurants near schools

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After a study showed obesity and diabetes are on the rise among children in the city, City Councilman Eric Gioia (D−Sunnyside) announced he would introduce a bill in the Council to ban fast food establishments within one−tenth of a mile from city schools.

“Children are literally being poisoned by their food environmen­ts,” said Gioia. “Banning fast food around schools will have a measurable impact on students’ lives and will help them grow up to be healthier, stronger adults.”

Current fast food restaurants would be exempted from the ban, Gioia said, but the bill would prevent any fast food establishments from moving into those locations if the existing businesses closed down.

In the report, titled “The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity,” University of California at Berkeley and Columbia researchers found a clear link between obesity in ninth−graders and the distance of fast food from schools.

The report found a 5.2 percent increase in student obesity when a school is 0.1 miles from a fast food restaurant.

— Jeremy Walsh

Updated 6:35 pm, October 10, 2011
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