Best You are What you Eat

TJ Thomson's attempt to legislate fast food access

Staff Pick

The intentions were well-meaning but in the end, Boise City Councilman TJ Thomson's proposal to limit fast food restaurants around Boise schools was probably an overreach. As part of what he called "Healthy Initiatives 2.0," Thomson proposed establishments selling so-called "unhealthy foods" be kept from operating within 1,000 feet of any public school with an open campus. The Dairy Queen, McDonald's, Blimpie and even the Starbucks close to Boise's Timberline High School would have been affected. While some establishments - Dairy Queen, McDonald's, Blimpie and Starbucks - continue to serve fast food near Boise's Timberline High School, those establishments would not have been affected by the proposal. The proposed ordinance would have only impacted future fast-food establishments. But after receiving considerable feedback from constituents and colleagues, Thomson pulled the proposal, saying it would not "help to achieve my ultimate goal of reducing childhood obesity rates within the city." Instead, Thomson continued to focus on improving access for low-income families to fresh fruits and vegetables.

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