Diet and obesity in Los Angeles County 2007-2012: Is there a measurable effect of the 2008 "Fast-Food Ban"?

Soc Sci Med. 2015 May;133:205-11. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.03.004. Epub 2015 Mar 5.


We evaluate the impact of the "Los Angeles Fast-Food Ban", a zoning regulation that has restricted opening/remodeling of standalone fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles since 2008. Food retail permits issued after the ban are more often for small food/convenience stores and less often for larger restaurants not part of a chain in South Los Angeles compared to other areas; there are no significant differences in the share of new fast-food chain outlets, other chain restaurants, or large food markets. About 10% of food outlets are new since the regulation, but there is little evidence that the composition has changed differentially across areas. Data from the California Health Interview Survey show that fast-food consumption and overweight/obesity rates have increased from 2007 to 2011/2012 in all areas. The increase in the combined prevalence of overweight and obesity since the ban has been significantly larger in South Los Angeles than elsewhere. A positive development has been a drop in soft drink consumption since 2007, but that drop is of similar magnitude in all areas.

Keywords: California; Diet; Fast food; Food environment; Los Angeles County; Overweight/obesity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Fast Foods / supply & distribution*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Government Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Restaurants / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Restaurants / statistics & numerical data