Friday, June 29, 2018

Poor Food

Experts say children exposed to fast food on the way home from school are more likely to eat unhealthily. One in three children is now overweight or obese by the age of 11. And children from poorer areas are more than twice as likely to be overweight.

Deprived areas such as Blackpool and parts of Manchester and Liverpool have five times more fast food outlets than affluent areas. The data compared levels of deprivation with numbers of takeaways such as chip shops, burger bars and pizza places.

The Public Health England (PHE) wants local authorities to refuse applications from new takeaways. Research in Cambridge indicating people living closest to the largest number of fast food outlets were more than twice as likely to be obese.

Prof Russell Viner, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "Kids are coming out of school hungry and finding themselves surrounded by cheap chicken shops, chip shops and other types of tempting junk food.

"This food is tasty and cheap - it's easy to blame the individual, but humans, particularly children, will find it hard to resist tempting food. Children from wealthy backgrounds will not be surrounded by junk food in this way. We need to see concerted action at a local level to help create healthier environments for families and ensure all children have the best possible start in life."

PHE chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said: "Local authorities have the power to help support people in making healthier choices. They need to question whether these fast food hotspots are compatible with their work to help families and young children live healthier lives."

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