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​Newcastle Implements Takeaway Ban to Combat Obesity

​Newcastle Implements Takeaway Ban to Combat Obesity

Posted by Emma on 20th Jun 2024

Newcastle City Council has taken a significant step in the battle against obesity by banning new takeaway establishments in most areas. This decision, made during a cabinet meeting on Monday, clearly demonstrates the city's dedication to fostering healthier lifestyles among its residents.

The new regulations have been strategically designed to prevent the opening of takeaway outlets within a 400-metre radius, or a 10-minute walk, of schools, parks, and community centres. Furthermore, new takeaways will be prohibited in areas where over 10% of Year 6 pupils are obese, encompassing nearly all Newcastle except for the Gosforth and South Jesmond areas. The policy also curtails the establishment of new takeaways in locations where the number of such outlets exceeds the UK national average per 1,000 population.

The council's report underscores the pressing health issue in Newcastle, with two-thirds of adults and 29.1% of children being overweight or obese. Alice Wiseman, Newcastle's Director of Public Health, has reiterated the council's commitment to promoting healthier eating and active lifestyles through various interventions. She has emphasised, "Planning plays a crucial role in shaping healthy communities, and this is a prime example of how it can contribute to the fight against obesity."

City Council leader Nick Kemp added that the restrictions would improve streets by reducing litter from takeaway packaging. This move follows public opposition to recent proposals for new fast-food outlets near local schools.

Labour cabinet member Alex Hay pointed out the stark contrast in obesity rates across different city areas. For instance, 47% of children in Walker are overweight or obese, compared to just 18.9% in North Jesmond. He underscored that the issue is particularly concerning in more deprived areas of Newcastle.

The council's decision aligns with broader efforts to create more diverse food options, particularly in deprived areas where takeaways are more common. While acknowledging that hot food takeaways provide economic and employment opportunities, the council's report argued that they also promote unhealthy food choices. The new policy is part of a broader strategy to combat obesity and encourage healthier eating habits among Newcastle's population.