South Los Angeles Fast Food Restaurant Density

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Health Impact Project

Community Health Councils, Inc. conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) to analyze the impact of current policies regulating the density of fast food restaurants in South Los Angeles (South LA), and the potential impact of the proposed new community plans and implementing ordinances.

From 2007 to 2010, the City of Los Angeles instituted an Interim Control Ordinance that temporarily banned the development of new stand-alone fast food restaurants in South LA. This ban was followed by a general plan amendment that limited development of new stand-alone fast food restaurants within one-half mile of existing fast food establishments. Pending updates to the three South LA Community Plans will modify these policies. The HIA found that the current policies likely contributed to a decrease in negative nutrition-related behaviors and health outcomes. The proposed new community plan for the West Adams neighborhood makes provisions for exemptions from the one-half mile density policy along geopolitical boundaries, reduces the fast food density boundaries in transit-oriented districts, and limits the development of fast food restaurants in the vicinity of public schools in designated areas. The HIA recommended eliminating the geographical exemptions, revising current terminology in the proposed plan to expand regulations to non-stand-alone fast food restaurants, and providing health food incentives by exempting "healthy" restaurants from the regulations.


This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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