'Ban fast food outlets near schools' to tackle childhood obesity

22 January 2013

One of the most senior medical professionals in Wales has called for fast food outlets to be restricted from operating near schools.

Dr Ruth Hussey, chief medical officer for Wales, proposed banning these establishments as one way of tackling the problem with childhood obesity.

In addition, she believes that restricting the movement of children by preventing them from eating out at lunchtime could also prove to be effective in getting to grips with an increasingly serious problem.

At present, according to official figures, 35 per cent of children in Wales are overweight, with 19 per cent of them classed as obese.

"Obesity in childhood can lead to a lifetime of serious health problems, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure," Dr Hussey noted.

"Refusing applications for more fast food outlets in the vicinity of schools would support children to make healthier food choices."

However, one councillor responded to Dr Hussey's suggestion by describing it as nonsensical.

"Any suggestion that a takeaway Taliban will solve our obesity crisis is nonsense," Darren Millar, councillor for Clwyd West, was quoted by the Daily Post as saying.

“It is a sad fact that Wales has a spiralling obesity problem and the Welsh Labour Government should be investing in resources that tackle its root causes."

Posted by Philip Briggs

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