The study by Dr Lorna Fraser and Dr Kimberley Edwards shows a link between the number of fast food outlet in Leeds and the likelihood of local children becoming obese. They also found that burger bars, chippies, kebab shops and similar outlets were more likely to open in areas of high deprivation.
There are more than 700 fast food outlets in the city of Leeds – one for every 1000 residents. The researchers found that these takeaways tended to be clustered in parts of the city where unemployment is highest.
“These findings should be used by planners when they are considering where new fast food outlets should be sited,” Dr Fraser said. “But we also need more data on the consumption of takeaway meals and levels of physical activity as well as the geography of these outlets. After all, children who live around the corner from a MacDonald’s don’t necessarily eat there.”
The research, which looked at over 33,000 children aged between 3 and 14 and the distance from their home to the nearest takeaway, is published in the journal Health and Place.
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