McDonald’s fans outraged as council bans new drive-through plans because they think residents are already too fat

MCDONALD lovers were outraged after a council banned new drive-through plans because they thought residents were already too fat.

The local health authority turned down a £315,000 ($550,000) upgrade to build a “super-large” drive-thru in Sydney, Australia, blaming local obesity rates.

Sydneysiders are going in all-out war against a local council that has banned a new McDonald's drive-thru

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Sydneysiders are going in all-out war against a local council that has banned a new McDonald’s drive-thruCredit: Google
The £315,000 upgrade could have served 14 extra people at once.

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The £315,000 upgrade could have served 14 extra people at once.Photo credit: Reuters

Residents in the leafy suburb of Cremorne are head-to-head with their local council after plans to double the size of their local McDonald’s by building a new dual-lane window to serve 14 extra people at a time were hastily pushed back.

Health officials argue that the extra lanes would increase obesity rates in the area.

McDonald’s said the move is in line with a change in people’s eating habits since the pandemic, as more customers prefer to eat in their cars than to restaurants.

The £315,000 refurbishment would see car parking spaces reduced from 35 to 26, remove an outdoor patio and remove 22 outdoor seating, plus a minor interior refurbishment.

But the North Sydney Local Health District said the move would increase “health impacts” including obesity rates.

“There is concern that increasing the accessibility of fast food via an expanded drive-through could adversely affect the eating habits of children and adults and undermine existing population health strategies to combat obesity,” the organization said.

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

“Providing better access to fast food via an expanded two-lane thoroughfare is unlikely to result in positive public health outcomes.”

Health District senior managers Andrew Wheeler and Mary McCafferty claim the new design will discourage people from cycling or walking in.

And they said the fast-food chain’s proximity to a local health center that offers disability and multicultural health services is also a concern.

“Accordingly, the center’s vulnerable people may not be able to park near the center to attend their health appointments, and this may result in a deterioration in the health of the vulnerable people,” the group said.

Locals have opposed the move as figures show the local adult obesity rate is 19 percent – well below the national average of 33 percent.

In response, McDonald’s said it has introduced a number of new healthy options for customers and the majority of its restaurants have dual-lane drive-throughs.

“McDonald’s has been part of the Cremorne community for more than 40 years. We are investing again in the restaurant to make it more accessible and convenient for our customers and crew,” said a spokesman.

“During the pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in transit numbers. An additional lane will improve efficiency and reduce traffic congestion for our customers.

“Over the past two years, there has been an 8.3 percent increase in drive-through transactions, offset by a decline in over-the-counter sales.

“The second drive-thru lane will significantly increase the queuing capacity of the operation and provide a second point of order and minimize the impact of queues on the internal parking area, reducing congestion and parking dependency.”

Local radio DJ Ben Fordham described the health district’s concerns as “not a problem”.

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He said, “Seriously? What a ridiculous example of government overreach.

“McDonald’s advises that most of their branches now have two drive-thru lanes anyway.”

https://www.the-sun.com/news/5574818/mcdonalds-fans-outraged-council-bans-new-drive/ McDonald’s fans outraged as council bans new drive-through plans because they think residents are already too fat

DevanCole

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