Gioia: Fast food near schools causes obesity

SOUNDVIEW - City Councilman Eric Gioia unveiled a plan Sunday that would prohibit fast food restaurants from being within one-tenth of a mile of local schools.

Gioia says the proposal was motivated by a recent study that claims childhood obesity is linked to the location of fast food restaurants near schools. The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University, determined that students at schools located close to fast food restaurants had a 5.2 increase in obesity.

Gioia, a Democrat from Queens, says current fast food restaurants would be exempt from the new legislation. Gioia announced the proposal at a school in TriBeCa, which is across the street from a McDonald's. Some parents think the ban will not prevent children from getting access to junk food.

"They're going to sneak and eat it anyway, whether it's far ? or near," Lenora Williams, of Soundview, says.

AP wire services contributed to this article.

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