Londoners and NHS organisations are being invited to respond to a consultation on the Mayor’s draft London plan which includes a policy to prevent new hot food takeaways from opening within 400 metres of a primary or secondary school.
The London plan is a strategic plan which shapes how London evolves and develops. All planning decisions should follow London Plan policies, and it sets a policy framework for local plans across London.
The draft plan can be found at www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-plan
People and organisations can respond to the consultation by email to LondonPlan@london.gov.uk. All comments must be received by 5pm on Friday 2 March 2018.
The findings from an independent evaluation of The Great Weight Debate helped inform the draft London plan.
More than 2,700 Londoners responded to the Great Weight Debate survey with nine out of 10 saying tackling London’s childhood obesity epidemic should be either the top or a high priority for the capital.
Londoners were asked to list the top three things that they thought made it harder for children to live healthy lives in their area, with 60% ticking ‘too many unhealthy food and drink options,’ 44% ticking ‘too many fast food shops’ and 33% ticking ‘safety concerns for children (not letting them play outdoors unsupervised)’.
Cheaper healthy food and drink, support for families to cook healthier food, limits on the number of fast food shops and less marketing and advertising of high fat and surgery food and drink were the top four factors that Londoners felt would support children in the capital to lead healthier lives.
The UK-wide NHS costs attributable to overweight and obesity are projected to reach £9.7 billion by 2050, with wider costs to society estimated to reach £49.9 billion per year.
London has more seriously overweight children than New York, Sydney, Paris or Madrid. The capital also has more obese children than anywhere else in England. More than a third are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school.
The primary driver for obesity in children is the increasing consumption of high sugar and fatty foods.
The number of fast food retail outlets in London continues to increase and the annual rate increase is now 10% with a high proportion of chicken shops in more deprived areas.
Being overweight or obese puts children at increased risk of a range of health problems, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, bone and joint problems and breathing difficulties. It can also affect a child’s mental well-being, lead to low self-esteem and absence from school. Children who are obese are also much more likely to be obese in adulthood.
The Great Weight Debate findings are being used to inform every London borough’s childhood obesity action plan and also informed the devolution deal for London, which now puts the capital in a stronger position to tackle the childhood obesity crisis.
Healthy London Partnership is also working with fast food shops, businesses and communities in three London boroughs (Southwark, Lambeth and Haringey) to pilot their ideas for making high streets healthier for children and young people through the Healthy High Streets Challenge.