Takeaway deliveries blamed for obesity crisis in Blackpool
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The crisis is also putting pressure on the NHS with 3,620 people admitted to hospital in 2019/20 where obesity was a factor.
A council report says Blackpool has the highest density of fast food outlets in the country, outside of the City of London.
Councillors, who were presented with the figures at a meeting of the Levelling Up Scrutiny Committee, said a balance needed to be struck between meeting demand from holidaymakers for fast food and encouraging healthier eating.
Coun Adrian Hoyle said delivery options meant people did not need to even leave home to buy fast food.
He said: “Do we need to be innovative in Blackpool? Should we say you can’t buy takeaway food unless you go out and buy it?
“We have a proliferation of takeaways which are providing our residents with these issues, but we have to provide them for our visitors who want to use these outlets.”
“During Covid we couldn’t go out and everything was delivered to your door. And that has grown and grown.
“What we can do, is change that culture in Blackpool. We are working with planning, and we work with takeaways to make sure they have healthy options.”
Data from 2020/21 (Sport England Active Lives Survey) shows an estimated 70 per cent of adults in Blackpool are overweight or obese, which is the equivalent of 77,000 people – compared to the national figure of 63 per cent.
Measures to reduce levels of obesity include ensuring school dinners are healthy, commissioning healthy weight programmes and encouraging people to be more active.
Planning rules are also being used to restrict the opening of new hot food takeaways in areas where there are high levels of childhood obesity,
The meeting was also told ideas such as providing a cooker in social housing should be considered, as this would encourage new tenants to cook their own food rather than buying in takeaway meals.
Councillors agreed the updated Healthy Weight Strategy for 2023 to 2028.