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No McDonald's in Loma Linda? Health group wants limit on fast-food in city

March 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The city of Loma Linda is known as a blue zone because of the longevity of its population and their healthy lifestyle. McDonald's is known for its Happy Meals and Big Macs. So when residents learned the golden arches had plans for their town, they went on the defensive.

"When we found out that McDonald's was scheduled to open up a restaurant here, we recognized that to maintain our healthy community's status, we had to plan it out," said Dr. Wayne Dysinger, chair of preventive medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Dysinger is also a member of Healthy Loma Linda Coalition, which is proposing a ballot measure that would limit the number of unhealthy restaurants within the city.

"If you go to a typical McDonald's restaurant, there are way more unhealthy choices than there are healthy choices," said Dysinger.

But McDonald's counters that, saying, "We offer a variety of high quality, great tasting foods that allow consumers to address their personal food and nutrition needs while taking advantage of the convenience McDonald's provides."

But some residents said they aren't swayed by the healthier options.

"You already have a Carl's Jr. here and things like that. It just doesn't fit the city profile, so why continue one program and add more?" said Loma Linda resident Julie Pretty.

Along with the Carl's Jr., Loma Linda also has a Del Taco and three other fast-food restaurants. Even so, resident Evelyn Young said she looks forward to a McDonald's closer to home.

"I like McDonald's. Every day, I go. I love them," Young said.

For now, anyone craving a Big Mac will have to step foot outside of Loma Linda in order to get one.