What Others Are Saying

September 13, 2007

It is a triumph of some kind that in battling hunger in America, obesity has come to be a problem associated with the poor.

The problem seems especially dramatic in South Los Angeles, where 30 percent of adults are obese, up significantly over the last 10 years, compared with 21 percent in Los Angeles County as a whole. That has a rough correlation to the poverty rate, 28 percent in South L.A. vs. 16.2 percent for the county.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the City Council will weigh a proposal to combat obesity by imposing a two-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in the neighborhood.

The intent of the measure is laudable, but the approach amounts to lifestyle zoning, trying to make perfectly legal adult choices - such as eating hamburgers instead of salads - inconvenient because the council disapproves of them.

It would be fascinating to see a fast-food moratorium put to the people of South L.A. to see how they feel about the issue. But the great concentration of fast-food places suggests that they have already voted.

- Rocky Mountain News (Denver)

Air travel is an undeniable hassle.

The security checks, the lines, the delays and, don't forget, the overbookings - it's enough to make the family road trip seem like a fun alternative. Which is why people boarding an airliner these days have more to worry about than what the passenger in 18A is wearing.

Yet, on a recent Southwest Airlines flight, that's exactly what the commotion was all about: an airline attendant basically dressing down a young woman who he believed was too scantily dressed.

OK, people are apt to commit crimes of fashion these days, and there is a limit to tastelessness in public. But the offending wardrobe has to be pretty egregious to warrant removal from a flight, and this woman's outfit was not over-the-top.

Memo to the airlines: Worry less about dress codes and more about getting passengers to their destinations safely, and on time.

- Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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