McDonald’s fans outraged as council BANS new drive-thru plans because they think residents are already too fat | The Sun

MCDONALD'S lovers have been left outraged after a council banned new drive-thru plans because they thought residents were already too fat.

The local healthy authority snubbed a £315,000 ($550,000) upgrade to build a "super-size" drive-thru in Sydney, Australia, blaming local obesity rates.

Residents in the leafy suburb of Cremorne are going head-to-head with their local council after plans to double the size of their local McDonald's by building new dual-lane window to serve an 14 extra people at one time was hastily knocked back.

Health officials argue the extra lanes would boost the area's obesity rates.

McDonald's said the move was in line with a shift in people's eating habits since the pandemic as more customers come to prefer eating in their cars than walk inside restaurants.

The £315k redevelopment would see carpark spaces reduced from 35 to 26 and an outdoor terrace removed and 22 outdoor seats taken away as well as aminor refurb inside.


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But North Sydney Local Health District said the move would raise "health impacts" including obesity rates.

"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," the organisation said.

"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."

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Andrew Wheeler and Mary McCafferty, senior manager with the Health District, claims the new design will discourage people from cycling or walking in.

And they said the fast-food chain's proximity to a local community health centre, which provides disability and multicultural health support services, is also a concern.

"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," the group said.

Locals have slammed the move as figures show the local obesity rate to be 19 percent in adults – well below the state's average of 33 percent.

In response, McDonalds said it had introduced a range of new healthy options for customers and the majority of their restaurants had dual lane drive-thrus.

"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," a spokesperson said.

"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 per cent 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 carparking area, reducing congestion and reliance on carparking."

Local radio DJ Ben Fordham called the Health District's concerns a 'non-issue'.

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He said: "Seriously? What a ridiculous example of Government overreach.

"McDonald’s makes the point that most of their outlets have two drive through lanes now anyway."

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