Greater Lincolnshire

Rise in takeaways defies efforts to tackle obesity

North East Lincolnshire has appeared in the top 20 local authorities with the most number of takeaways in the country.

The borough weighs in at 16th in a list of 216 authorities analysed by the BBC Shared Data unit which says it has seen an additional 45 takeaways open since 2010 – from 85 to 130 in 2018.

The BBC’s story highlights research which shows people most exposed to these kinds of premises are nearly twice as likely to be obese and how the rise contradicts a push to tackle the growing problem across the UK.

Its data equates to 81 fast food outlets per 100,000 of the population.

The restaurants form 58% of all 225 food outlets within the borough.

A spokesman for North East Lincolnshire said the authority was working to tackle obesity, in particular childhood and its long-term effects on adult life.

They said: “Our local plan mentions that no hot food takeaways are allowed to be located within 400 metres of a school facility.”

They said that last year the number of takeaways had been estimated between 180-190 venues and so had reduced in the past year, but acknowledged it was still up longer term.

Both other Greater Lincolnshire authorities, North Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire County Councils have also seen an increase in fast food outlets, but with varying effects.

North Lincolnshire, with its 105 fast food, sits at 106th out of 216, and has seen 35 extra takeaways open in the past eight years.

It has an overall number of 200 food outlets meaning more than half of them are takeaways.

Lincolnshire County appears in the lower third of the authorities, but has seen an extra 80 takeaways open since 2010.

New fast food outlets are given permission by district councils, and the number has risen from 315 in 2010, to 395 in 2017. The county has 980 food outlets in all, also rising from 740 in 2010.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council, which oversees public health said partnership work between the Lincolnshire Health and Wellbeing Board and a number of other agencies was being done to tackle obesity in the county – including the setting up of a dedicated group.

Councillor Sue Woolley, chair of Lincolnshire Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “The obesity group will work to change habits and monitor the volume and density of fast food outlets and their impact on resident’s health.

“Earlier this year Public Health England produced a report supporting this approach to tackling obesity both nationally and locally.

“In addition, we will offer and open invitation to an obesity forum, and this will be available to anybody who is as passionate and determined as we are to tackle this problem.”

She said details would be announced in the near future.