UK Politics

Ban junk food shops near schools to tackle obesity, report says

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Junk food outlets should be banned from routes children take between home and school to help tackle childhood obesity, according to a new report.

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said unhealthy outlets should be banned within a five-minute walk of the school gates.

It also wants billboard adverts for junk food outlawed in the same area, as well as removed from all council-owned advertising sites, and app-based delivery services prevented from taking food to schools.

It also wants to see walking and cycling routes upgraded, including simplifying regulations to allow for more pedestrian crossings, and better signage for parks.

Image: The RSPH wants app-based food deliveries to schools outlawed

The Routing Out Childhood Obesity report found 80% of the public would like an end to discounts offered to pupils by unhealthy fast food outlets near schools, while 65% back a ban on new unhealthy fast food outlets within a five-minute walk of the gates, and 68% agree that junk food campaigns across council-owned advertising boards should be banned.

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As part of the study, the RSPH worked with urban health foundation Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, mapping the street environments of London boroughs Lambeth and Southwark to gauge their impact on childhood obesity.

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.

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

"Our work with Guy's and St Thomas' Charity has shown that if we are to give young people in the UK the options they deserve, and not settle for the cheap and unhealthRead More – Source