London, England is making a play to ban new fast-food restaurants from opening near schools: The Evening Standard reports Mayor Boris Johnson will propose later this week to restrict fast-food restaurants from being built within a 10-minute walk of a school, or "400m" away from school gates. According to the mayor's proposal, nearly one in three 10-year-olds in the UK is either overweight or obese, leading to an "obesity emergency" throughout the country. The potential ban will only restrict the construction of new fast-food restaurants, allowing those currently operating near schools to remain.
Johnson's proposal isn't the first to limit fast-food restaurants' access to children: In 2009, a New York City lawmaker issued a similar proposal, and in late 2013, Austin's city council debated creating a "healthy food zone" around its schools. Although Austin council members ultimately rejected the proposal, the measure spurred several think pieces and online debates about banning fast-food access. According to many studies (including one by the UK's University of East Anglia earlier this year), "the more unhealthy food outlets there are in a neighborhood, the greater the number of overweight and obese children. The results were more pronounced in secondary school children who have more spending power to choose their own food."