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Call to ban junk food near schools

Health officials are calling for a ban to be placed on any junk food retailers within a five minutes’ walk from a school.

Experts are targeting local councils in an attempt to reduce levels of child obesity, citing takeaways within close proximity to classrooms as one of the causes.

A report, which was recently published by Public Health England, called on council planning officials to refuse permission for pizza parlours, burger bars and chip shops, among others, that want to open close to schools.

The paper indicated that takeaway outlets are more of a problem in the UK’s most deprived regions, with the poorest areas having 172 junk food outlets for every 100,000 people.

The report also revealed that children in poorer regions are twice as likely to be obese as those in the least deprived regions. As secondary school children are often allowed to leave the school at lunch time, they are more likely to be tempted by junk food.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has also spoken out against the close proximity of takeaways to schools. While being interviewed by the Times Educational Supplement, Oliver said:

“You can’t have one arm of the government investing money in food education and school lunches, and then have another part allowing junk food, en masse, to be licensed and given permission to trade within a stone’s throw of a school on every corner.”

Many institutions are working towards the introduction of nutritious meals, including healthy school tuckshops. Merseyside is among the regions that are encouraging a healthy diet and exercise in the fight against obesity.

Posted by Susan
May 11, 2014
Schools

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