Takeaways should be BANNED from being within five minutes of schools to help tackle scourge of childhood obesity, health body urges 

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  • New report has called for the measures to be made within 400 yards of schools
  • Rpyal Society for Public Health said 65% of the public would back such a move
  • Also said food delivery apps should be banned from delivering to school gates 

Planning laws should be changed to ban junk food outlets within a five-minute walk of schools, health experts say (file image)

Planning laws should be changed to ban junk food outlets within a five-minute walk of schools, health experts say (file image)

Planning laws should be changed to ban junk food outlets within a five-minute walk of schools, health experts say.

A report by the Royal Society for Public Health called for the measures to be made within 400 yards of primary and secondary schools.

And polling for the organisation suggests 65 per cent of the public would back such a move.

Councils in Dudley, Milton Keynes, Luton, St Helen’s and Sandwell have already changed their planning policies to limit takeaways near schools – and the report said others should follow suit.

RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer said: ‘When the bells ring at the end of the day, a typical school child finds themselves in a situation they would otherwise rarely experience – with time to spare, friends to follow, change in their pocket, no adult direction, and a junk food offer within minutes on foot.

English children are fatter than ever – official data revealed last October that one in every 25 10 to 11-year-olds are severely obese, the fattest possible category.

And out of around 556,000 children of primary school-leaving age in the UK, 170,000 are overweight to some degree, figures showed in May last year.

More than one in five 11-year-olds are obese – equivalent to around 111,000 children – and being so fat means they are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer or have a stroke.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health say children should be weighed every year at school because ‘danger is on the horizon’ and the UK is lagging behind the rest of the EU in tackling obesity.

Experts have also warned children gain weight ‘at a drastic rate’ when they’re at school. 

Sugar in food is known to be contributing to the swelling waistlines of children, with huge amounts of popular foods crammed full of sugar.

A sugar tax has reduced the effects of some soft drinks, but breakfast cereals can still contain more than 70 per cent of an entire day’s sugar in a single bowl.

Even a single can of Coca Cola (35g of sugar) or one Mars bar (33g) contain more than the maximum amount of sugar a child should have over a whole day.  

‘It’s small wonder that, in this environment, junk food outlets have become one of the most popular after-school destinations.’

‘If we are to give young people in the UK the options they deserve, and not settle for the cheap and unhealthy offer they are currently restricted to, we need a radical revamp of the street environment surrounding our schools.’

The report – jointly published with the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity – also said food delivery apps should be banned from delivering to school gates.

And it called for a ban on advertising unhealthy food on council-owned sites.

Polling of 2,000 adults, conducted by Populus for the report, found 80 per cent would back an end to discounts offered to pupils by fast food outlets, and 68 per cent want junk food adverts on council-owned advertising boards.

A report by Public Health England yesterday projected four in ten children would be overweight at the age of 11 by 2024, up from three in ten currently.

The Daily Mail earlier this year revealed 5,800 new takeaways have opened in the UK in just three and half years – an 11 per cent rise from 52,120 to 57,929.

Two thirds of adults in Britain are now overweight, contributing to soaring rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. 

Official data revealed last October that one in every 25 10 to 11-year-olds are severely obese, the fattest possible category. 

 And out of around 556,000 children of primary school-leaving age in the UK, 170,000 are overweight to some degree, figures showed in May last year. 

 More than one in five 11-year-olds are obese – equivalent to around 111,000 children – and being so fat means they are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer or have a stroke.



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