Children in poorer areas exposed to 5X more fast food takeaways

Aaron Gonzalez


Over 400 schools in England have at least 20 or takeaways nearby, data reveals, with the problem at its worst in London. Fast-food takeaways will be forbidden from opening inside 400 metres of schools in a proposal to challenge the capital’s child obesity rampant epidemic.

Data provided by Cambridge University’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research (Cedar) indicates over 400 schools across England have at least 20 fast food takeaways within a 400-metre radius, while a further 1,400 have between 10 and 19 outlets within the same distance.

In London, 40% of children are overweight or obese when they finish primary school, the highest proportion in England. According to Public Health England (PHE)

Children who go to school in the most disadvantaged areas of London have an average of eight takeaways inside a 400-metre vicinity.

The mayor’s draft strategy, which was placed into power on Wednesday 29th November necessitates new takeaways sign up to a healthier cooking pledge, which motivates store owners to create simple changes to food preparation procedures, like grilling rather than deep frying, and using a smaller amount of salt. This will not include companies like McDonald’s, as they function as restaurants with takeaway abilities thus are categorised differently.

According to a study carried out by the guardian, there has been an 8% upsurge in the last three years. The largest focuses of fast food outlets were to be found in the most economically poorer areas, such as the north-west. Khan states; ‘A typical fast-food meal contains nearly 60 per cent of recommended daily calories, half of salt and saturated fat and no portions of fruit or vegetables. There is strong evidence that regular consumption of hot food takeaways is associated with weight gain.'

“Takeaway restaurants are a vibrant part of London life, but it’s important that they are not encouraging our children to make poor food choices.” – Sadiq Khan    

Dr. Yvonne Doyle, London regional director at Public Health England states; “This plan will encourage a healthier food environment around our schools so that junk food is no longer the option for children nearest the school gates.”

Sapphire, an artist from Leeds who has recently moved to London , thinks that despite their cultural significance she states “Businesses are being allowed to buy shops in close proximity of secondary schools, and working class kids are gorging on very unhealthy food straight after school." Some families literally have no time to go home and cook a healthy cheap meal—there's a lack of accessibility for hot cheap tasty food in London. It's classist."