Takeaway-saturated Rochdale is one of UK’s hotspots

Date published: 23 October 2018

The borough of Rochdale is one of the UK’s hotspots that is saturated with takeaways, new figures show.

Findings from the BBC Shared Data Unit show that Rochdale is the region with the second highest number of takeaways proportionate to the population in the Greater Manchester region, fourth highest in the North West and 18th highest in the UK.

Rochdale has 80 fast food outlets per 100,000 of the population, increasing by 42 takeaways per 100,000 since 2010, according to the analysis.

In the eight years since 2010, 95 additional takeaways have opened across the borough and the total number of food outlets has also increased over the same time period from 160 to 285.

According to Public Health England, the rate of severe obesity among local year 6 children (aged 10 to 11) is at a record-high, up by more than a third since 2006 to 4.5% - higher than the national average.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, alongside Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, set targets this year to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

Plans in England include banning the sale of energy drinks to children, stopping the sale of sweets and snacks at checkouts and possible calorie caps on popular foods like pizzas.

Andrea Fallon, director of public health at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “At Rochdale Borough Council we are committed to helping children across the borough to grow into fit and healthy adults.

“Rochdale Borough Council does not allow new fast food outlets to open within 400 yards of a school however we know that takeaways are just one part of tackling childhood obesity.

“We are working with our partners to take every opportunity to make it easier for families to make healthy choices and ask that everyone considers their part in helping children across the borough to grow up into fit and healthy adults.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “Many councils are challenged with striking the balance between a vibrant high street and a healthy one.

“However, it’s difficult to make healthier choices when our neighbourhoods are saturated with takeaways, restaurants and cafés.

“Everyone has a role in tackling obesity.  Councils can help address the growth of fast food outlets and we’re working with the food and drink industry to make everyday products healthier.”

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