Birthplace of ‘drive-thru’ turns its back on fast food

A customer takes his order at an In-N-Out 'drive-thru'

But progress comes at a price. While residents of Baldwin Park have long celebrated their hometown’s claim to fame as the semi-official birthplace of a culinary revolution, fast food has exacted a terrible toll on their waistbands. So terrible that the city’s council has now taken the headline-grabbing decision to ban any new drive-thru restaurants from opening there.

In a bid to combat rampant obesity levels – almost half the town’s 90,000 inhabitants are overweight and a third are classed as clinically obese – and decrease the traffic congestion and dangerous pollution being caused by long queues of cars idling outside burger and fried-chicken restaurants, the city’s law-makers voted last month to impose a moratorium on new fast-food outlets.

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