11 Jan 2018 / 17:01

London continues the fight against childhood obesity. No fast food near schools

Children’s diets are a hot subject, an ever-increasing battleground for nutritionists, doctors, chefs and other professionals defending children’s welfare. Here's what's happening in the United Kingdom.

London continues the fight against childhood obesity. No fast food near schools

Children’s diets are a hot subject, an ever-increasing battleground for nutritionists, doctors, chefs and other professionals defending children’s welfare. Here's what's happening in the United Kingdom.

In England, particularly in London, children may soon be discouraged from consuming junk food during their lunch break. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, according to an Evening Standard report, announced he wants to prohibit the opening of all new fast food restaurants within 400 meters of schools. With over 40% of its children overweight, London holds the national record for childhood obesity. Unless resolved quickly, Khan describes the situation as a ‘time bomb’.

The new no-burger zone doesn’t contemplate closing the fast food purveyors already operating in the areas, but forbids the opening of new ones. The project, although studied intelligently and sensitively, has understandably met with hostility from all fast food chains. According to a map drawn by analyst Dan Cookson, if the rule were applied, very few spaces in the city would be available for new fast food venues.

Despite the issues raised, the mayor seems determined to go forward with this approach and continue his battle against childhood obesity. He doesn’t want it to be seen as a threat to fast food businesses, though. “Takeaway restaurants are a fundamental part of London life,” Khan commented, “but it is important that they don’t encourage our children to make the wrong food choices.”

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