Fast food trend fueling obesity crisis, experts warn

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A worrying surge in the number of takeaways opening in some of England’s most deprived areas is feeding the nation’s obesity crisis, experts have warned.
New data published by Cambridge University’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research has revealed there are now 56,638 takeaways in England – a rise of eight per cent in three years.
Some of the heaviest concentrations of fast food outlets are found in the country’s poorest and most deprived neighbourhoods. Twenty-five of the 30 council areas where takeaways are the predominant kind of food outlet are located in the north.
Professor Simon Capewell, vice-president for policy at the UK’s Faculty of Public Health, said: “The junk food and sugary drinks sold by these outlets make an important contribution to the UK epidemic of obesity and diabetes. These trends are very worrying.”
The shock new data has triggered further concerns about rising levels of obesity and related illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes. Researchers have shown a link between increased exposure to fast food outlets and greater risk of obesity.
Caroline Cerny of the Obesity Health Alliance said: “Whether it’s the marketing of junk food on billboards and TV, or the proximity of junk food outlets to schools, we know our environment has a huge impact on levels of overweightness and obesity.”
Treating obesity costs the NHS £6 billion a year, a figure expected to rise £10 billion by 2050.
Public Health England’s chief nutritionist, Dr Alison Tedstone, said: “Our high streets are increasingly saturated with takeaways and food on the go, causing an over-consumption of cheap, unhealthy food and drinks.
“Local authorities and the food and drink industry all have a role to play in creating an environment that encourages healthier options – including tackling the number of takeaways and the quality of food they sell, especially among our most disadvantaged communities.”
Typical takeaway foods are high in both carbohydrate and calories. A single portion of fish and chips, pizza or fried chicken and chips can contain up to 1,200 calories – around half of an adult’s recommended daily intake. These single portions can also contain up to 100g of carbohydrate, before any sugary drinks are included.
You can reduce your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes by joining the Low Carb Program, a 10-week education course which promotes healthy eating and lowering the risk of chronic diseases.
The easy-to-follow online course helps you to understand the effects of carbohydrate on the body and how you can feel better through reducing your carb intake.