Council bans McDonald's drive-thru because the residents are 'too fat' 1 week ago

Council bans McDonald's drive-thru because the residents are 'too fat'

McDonald's claims the plans were aimed at keeping up with people's eating habits

A council has rejected plans for a new drive-thru at a McDonald's in Australia because they think residents in the area are already too fat.

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The fast food chain had planned to add a new dual-lane window to one of its restaurants in Sydney, saying this would be able to serve an additional 14 people at one time.

However, the plans were rejected by health bosses in the area who cited local obesity rates.

The local council in Cremorne, a suburb of Sydney, said the new drive-thru plans would increase obesity in the area. But McDonald's claim the development was aimed at keeping up with people's changing eating habits.

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They said that more people are choosing to pick up their food and eat on the go or by themselves, particularly after the pandemic and with more people working from home.

So instead of adding to the inside of the restaurant, they had planned a £315,000 development, reducing the number of car parking space and removing the outdoor seats and terrace.

But North Sydney Local Health District believed the redevelopment and new drive-thru lane would raise obesity rates in the area, along with other "health impacts," the Mirror reports.

They said: "There is a concern that increasing accessibility to fast food, via an expanded drive-through, may negatively influence the eating habits of children and adults, and undermine existing population health strategies to tackle obesity.

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"Data from the Australian Urban Observatory shows that Cremorne already has more than adequate access to fast food.

"Providing greater access to fast food via an expanded, dual lane drive-through is unlikely to result in positive population health outcomes."

Sydney council bans Mcdonald's The development would have seen the number of parking spaces reduced and the removal of outdoor seating (North Sydney Council)
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Andrew Wheeler and Mary McCafferty, two senior managers with the Health District, said the plans would discourage people from walking or cycling to the restaurant.

It's proximity to a local community health centre which provides disability and multicultural health support services, was also cited as a concern.

The Health District said: "Accordingly, the centre's vulnerable persons may not be able to park in the vicinity of the centre to attend their health appointments and this may lead to vulnerable persons' declining health."

Despite the fears from officials, the obesity rate in the area is 19 percent in adults, well below the state's average of 33 percent.

And McDonald's has pointed out that it has introduced a range of healthier options for customers.

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A spokesperson said: "McDonald's has been part of the Cremorne community for more than 40 years. We are reinvesting into the restaurant to make it more accessible and convenient for our customers and crew.

"Throughout the pandemic, we experienced a considerable increase in drive-through numbers. An additional lane will improve efficiency and reduce traffic congestion for our customers.

"In the last two years there has been an increase in transactions in the drive-through of 8.3 percent which has been offset by a reduction in over-the-counter sales.

"The second drive-through lane will substantially increase the queuing capacity of the operation and provide a second point of order and will minimise the queuing impact on the internal car parking area, reducing congestion and reliance on car parking."

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