West Norfolk bucks trend of soaring growth of takeaways
Fewer new food takeaways are being opened in West Norfolk than in other parts of the county, figures suggest.
Health experts and local government representatives have voiced concerns after data published this week suggested that the number of takeaway outlets across the UK had soared by more than a third since 2010.
The figures, compiled by the BBC, suggested that there had also been a near 13 per cent rise in takeaway businesses in Norfolk, with 60 more trading now than in 2010.
But West Norfolk Council figures suggest that only eight more shops have opened in the borough over the same period.
Its figures, based on food hygiene ratings, suggest that 115 takeaways were in business in the borough in September, compared to 107 in November 2010.
The figures were published in the same week that Norfolk County Council data showed that life expectancy in West Norfolk may be significantly shorter than in other parts of the county.
The report, which is due to be debated by councillors on Monday, suggested that some women in the borough will live for up to 14 years less than their counterparts in other districts.
Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community and wellbeing board, said councils need more help to tackle the issue.
He said: “We urgently need to take action to tackle child obesity and councils are playing their part, but need more planning powers to help tackle this epidemic, which has made the UK the most obese nation in western Europe.
“Councils appreciate that a flourishing hospitality sector in our towns and cities is good for local economies and where they have introduced restrictions on takeaways are working with businesses to help create healthier menus for their customers.”
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist for Public Health England, said: “Many councils are challenged with striking the balance between a vibrant high street and a healthy one.
“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.”
But Dr Thomas Burgoine, of The Centre for Diet and Activity Research at the University of Cambridge, said more research was needed to determine whether restricting the growth of takeaways had an impact on consumers’ dietary choices.