Mayor of London proposes ban on takeaways within 400m of schools

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mayor of London proposes ban on takeaways within 400m of schools

Related tags: Fast food

Hot food takeaways could be banned from opening near schools under new plans put forward by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

The proposals aimed at tackling childhood obesity are outlined in Khan’s draft of the capital’s overall planning strategy, which is due to be published this week.

It says that new takeaways should not be permitted to open within 400 metres of an existing or proposed primary school.

New takeaways granted planning permission will be required to sign up to the Healthier Catering Commitment, which encourages food businesses to make changes such as grilling or baking instead of frying dishes, and adding less salt.

“Takeaway restaurants are a vibrant part of London life, but it’s important that they are not encouraging our children to make poor food choices,” says Khan.

There are currently more than 8,000 fast food outlets in London, while a quarter of the UK’s takeaways are located within a five minute walk of a school.

“[School] children should be able to access healthier food options in the food businesses that surround their schools,” says Clea Harris, chair of the London Healthier Catering Commitment Group.

“The introduction of the Healthier Catering Commitment in these premises will ensure that a healthier selection of food and drink is available so that young people can make a choice which reflects current healthy eating messages."

A typical fast-food meal contains nearly 60% of a person's recommended daily calories, and half the RDA of salt and saturated fat.

Hospitality businesses have come under pressure to introduce more anti-obesity measures in recent years. The Local Government Association has repeatedly called on the sector​ to include calorie labelling on menus, but industry groups have warned against costly schemes ​at a time when restaurants and pubs already face tight margins.

In 2010 a group of 18 large operators including KFC, Pizza Hut and Burger King trialled labelling menus with calorie information as part of a Food Standards Agency campaign – but the majority decided not to extend the scheme.

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