LACA deeply worried about rise in takeaways near schools

07 June 2016 by
LACA deeply worried about rise in takeaways near schools

The Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) and the Children's Food Trust have responded to research which suggests more than 5,000 takeaways have opened within walking distance of schools in the past seven years.

The data, compiled for" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">The Daily Mailby mapping firm Mapmechanics, found some 5,627 new takeaways have appeared close to schools in just seven years, with 528 having opened in the last 12 months alone.

According to the research, which is based on the location of businesses logged by the Ordnance Survey, more than one in four takeaway shops across the UK is located within a five-minute walk of a primary or secondary school.

The total number of fast food outlets near schools currently stands at 15,327, up from 9,700 in 2009.

Peter McGrath, chair of LACA, said: "The rise in the number of fast food outlets in close proximity to schools across Britain is deeply worrying. Most often food served in these outlets does not meet the standards set by the government to ensure children get the right nutritional balance they need to grow and develop into healthy adults.

"School meals are legally bound to be nutritionally balanced as caterers follow government standards legislation that regulates this. Meals cooked and served in schools are demonstrably healthier than fast food and menus are designed to provide nutrition and variety as well as flavour."

Jo Nicholas, head of research at the Children's Food Trust, added: "We've always backed schools wanting to restrict children's access to foods high in fat, sugar and salt right outside the school gates and we've welcomed local authorities using their planning powers to help.

"But with so many fast-food outlets continuing to open near schools and the consequences of poor diet for children showing no sign of abating, the forthcoming child obesity strategy must set out better support for planners and elected members to consider and use health outcomes for children in their decision-making."

London saw the biggest increase with an 89% rise in new outlets since 2009, followed by Scotland at 59%, the North West at 57% and the West Midlands with 55%.

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