Drive-thru to obesity
At the planning meeting tonight I spoke against McDonalds permit application for a car park and drive thru extension on Ballarat Rd Sunshine (see local news report here)
My main concerns are that it reinforces obesity and nutrition poverty, as well as worsen anti-social behaviours arising out of the ‘drive-thru’.
Obesity in Australia has reached epidemic proportions. 1995 National Nutrition Survey, 45% of men and 29% of women were found to be overweight, and a further 18% of men and women were classified as obese. By 2000 that figure had risen to 60% and currently is at 68%.
Brimbank has higher rates of obesity and diabetes than the Victorian average and higher numbers of fast food outlets. 68% of men and women are classified as obese, from 18% in 1995 (National Nutrition Survey. Obesity is now strongly associated with poverty and closer access to fast food areas is a characteristic of less advantaged areas.
My objections to this car park expansion are basically very similar to those of the residents.
An increase in the size of the drive-thru’ will bring more cars through it. And I fear:
a) that we are just allowing an expansion of McDonalds and their profits, to the detriment of the residents healthy, wellbeing and residential amenity
b) it will become more of an epicentre for anti-social social behaviour and pests (such as feral cats)
c) it will worsen an already increased amount of noise affecting nearby residents, increased effects of vehicle headlight intrusion on neighbours and odour impacts.
The residents have legitimate concerns including safety, vandalism in the area and the potential use of streets in the otherwise quiet suburban streets for illicit activities. Council’s adoption of the recommendation does not adequately address potential for anti-social behaviour and criminal activity and I believe it is not in the social interest to allow McDonalds to expand their ‘drive thru’.