(Pic:Chicken Cottage front)
A rise in fast food shops near schools prompting a rise in obesity in children, reports Isla Russell
Statistics from Cambridge University’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research have shown that over 400 schools across England have 20 or more fast food restaurants within a 400-metre radius. But how is having these restaurants so near to schools affecting the health of children?
When using public transport after 3pm you are guaranteed to see school children eating from cardboard boxes filled with fried chicken and chips. A habit that surely can’t be healthy when, according to the National Public for health, one third of children 11 to 15 years old are overweight or obese, and 40% are overweight by the time they reach primary school.
The issue is by far most prominent in London. On average, there are 6 fast food restaurants within 400 metres of schools. Furthermore, out of the 20 areas with the highest average number of takeaways per schools, only three are outside of London, with the most fast food chains circulating around the City of London area.
It is assumed that there is a link between the poorest areas in England depending on chicken shops more over the richer areas that may perhaps use higher standard establishments or cook from home. Charities, such as the Soil Association, who campaign for healthy humane and sustainable food, farming and land use, have expressed their outrage at these findings via their Twitter accounts. They believe that all children should have access to healthy meals no matter their family income.
Alice Heather took to the streets of Southwark to see what the local chicken shops have to say about their child customers.