The UK is the most obese nation in Western Europe. A major factor that contributes to obese populations is the presence of a high number of fast food outlets.
A study has shown that fast food establishments make up 30 percent of the total number of food centres in Cornwall. For every 100,000 people, there are 57 food outlets catering to the needs of the people in that environment.
Poorest neighbourhoods have highest fast food outlets
Research and location charts for fast food centres in England show that poorest neighbourhoods have the highest number of fast food outlets. Within each local environment, a high number of fast food outlets produce high obese cases.
In Cornwall, poor neighbourhoods generate high obese cases due to the presence of a large number of fast food outlets in those areas.
Way s to curb this
Councils should get more involved: Councils should collaborate with food outlet businesses on healthier menus. Chief nutritionist at Public Health England, Dr Alison Tedstone says that ‘’Councils can look into the expansion of fast food centres. We are trying to ensure healthier products by collaborating with the drink and food industry.’’
More planning powers: More planning powers are required to address this problem with the collaboration of councils.
Getting families involved: Families are now being encouraged to fight obesity by imbibing healthier food habits.
Councils have to work with new legislations on better plans for food environments. This will help curb obesity and health inequalities. Dr Alison Tedstone says, ‘’being faced with in ‘your face’ takeaways creates tough and strict food choices.’’
Legislations can grant rules to cluster existing takeaways thereby reducing saturation in local environments.