n. Zoning laws designed to keep fast-food restaurants out of an area or neighborhood.
In an effort to provide residents with more nutritious choices, the L.A. City Council adopted landmark legislation in July mandating a one-year moratorium on the building of new fast-food eateries in a 32-square-mile area. (Fast-food zoning exists in other cities but is based on aesthetic considerations, not health factors.) According to Jan Perry, a council member who co-sponsored the bill and whose district is part of South L.A., the idea is to freeze fast-food development so that sit-down restaurants and quality-food markets will build in the area. ''When every corner is taken up with fast food,'' Perry says, ''there's no room for anyone else.''
In the early 1990s, activists pushed the government to man date nutrition information on grocery items. Not surprisingly, food choices didn't change. Since then they have lobbied for fast-food zoning, Twinkie taxes, and outright food bans.
New York Councilman Joel Rivera wants to ban fast food restaurants from certain areas of New York. Apparently such a law already exists in a small Californian city — Calistoga.
Among tax proposals Daniels suggested merit consideration are … Extending the 5 percent state sales tax to so-called "snack food." Once labeled the "Twinkie tax," the proposal would apply to such items as candy, chewing gum, potato chips, pretzels, cookies, ice cream, coffee and tea.