Discover fast food capital of Wales
CONCERNS GROWING OVER RISING OBESITY LEVELS
CONWY is the fast food capital of Wales, figures have revealed.
With 81 takeaways for every 100,000 people, it has the largest proportion of all the Welsh counties and is one of the highest in the UK.
In total Conwy has 95 fast food joints located around its towns and villages, and there are concerns they may contribute to increasing obesity levels.
Out of 215 local authorities across the UK, Conwy came 17th for the number of fast food restaurants compared to population.
Gwynedd totalled 85, with 69 per 100,000; Wrexham has 65 and Flintshire 75 in total, both with 48 per 100,000.Denbighshire has 55 and Anglesey 40 fast food eateries.
Although the Welsh capital Cardiff has 250 takeaways, that only equates to 69 per 100,000 people.
The highest proportion of takeaways was in Westminster, London, with 127 per 100,000, Blackpool was second with a ratio of 97 per 100,000.
Research also showed the UK has the highest concentration of takeaways in nearly a decade, despite efforts to tackle people getting fat.
Moves have been made by some local authorities to limit exposure to fast food.
Wrexham council’s planning guidance states takeaways should not be located in the town centre, predominantly residential areas or within 400 metres of a school or college.
The figures also showed the UK now has the highest number of takeaways in a decade.
A Public Health Wales (PHW) spokesman said data showed more than one in four children aged 4/5 years are and 59% of adults are overweight and levels of obesity are rising.
“While it is too soon to see an overall trend, there is an increasing gap in obesity levels between the most and least disadvantaged areas in Wales,” he said.
“We know that there is a relationship between the amount of fast food people eat and whether they are overweight or obese.
“Food cooked in the home tends to be less calorie dense, and lower in fat, sugar and salt compared to food purchased through fast food outlets.
“Public Health Wales is working with the Welsh Government to develop a new national Healthy Weight Strategy which will include how the food environment can support people to eat healthier food,” the spokesman added.
PHW is also working with the food industry to increase healthy choices, better menu labelling for people and backs health impact assessments to help councils considering planning applications for fast foot outlets.
The British Takeaway Campaign said the fast food sector supports more than 230,000 jobs and contributes £4.5bn to the UK economy each year.
A campaign spokesman said steps were being taken to offer healthier options.
“Takeaway restaurants are now offering a greater range of menu options in response – 96% of takeaway restaurants now offer vegetarian options, whilst almost two-thirds (65%) offer low-fat options and 59% offer low salt options,” the spokesman said: “A further 73% offer small portion sizes, and together these small, practical actions make a big overall difference.
“It’s important to remember that many takeaways are small and independently-owned, and do not have access to the resources of the big chains to allow them to go further, such as calorie labelling, for example.
“That’s why the BTC is calling for the Government to provide a free tool such as a simple online calorie calculator, helping takeaways provide more information to their customers in a cost effective way.
“Nine in 10 takeaways say they would use such a tool should it be made available.”
● Gwynedd has 69 takeaways for every 100,000 people, leading to concern over obesity levels