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Salford considers daytime takeaway food ban for children

31 | 05 | 13

Salford City Council has unveiled a new plan that will restrict the sale of hot food to children in an effort to deal with the growing problem of childhood obesity.

Under the terms of the plan, school kids are not going to be able to purchase takeaways - including burgers, chips and hot dogs - before five o'clock. It will cover all fast food eateries within a 400 metre radius of schools, which means nearby McDonald's and KFC outlets would have to change their policy.

The public consultation on the plan runs until July 5th and is the latest attempt by local government to tackle the problem of unhealthy children. It is hoped in the long-term the move will encourage students to eat more nutritious meals.

Takeaway ban

Andrew Cook, treasurer of the National Federation of Fish Friers, is not in favour of the policy as he feels it will not deal with the problem of obesity. Speaking to the Independent, he said it will merely penalise businesses "unnecessarily".

"One of my shops is right next to a secondary school but the people who come in at lunchtime are all working folk, not schoolkids. Every morning I see children going to the newsagents next door and buying sweets, chocolates and pies - and that’s not healthy. But we're an easy target," he added.

Councillor Margaret Morris, assistant mayor for health at Salford City Council, said she understands that takeaways create vital jobs for the area and "provide a service", but this does not mean regulations cannot be put in place to limit how they operate.

"These ideas are to make sure that they are opening in the right places and not having a negative impact in our city. We don't think they should be serving hot food over the counter before [five o'clock] near schools, as children should be encouraged to eat healthily, so we have made this clear in our proposal," she remarked.

Encouraging healthy eating

If the policy is rolled out, it could have a major effect on kitchen and catering equipment companies, as they may have to change the appliances they use in order to offer a different service to this demographic.

It's not the only campaign designed to improve the dietary habits of children to be considered recently. Organic baby food company Organix and the Soil Association have teamed up to launch the Out to Lunch project and the scheme hopes to encourage youngsters to eat healthier when they are dining out.

Amy Leech of the Soil Association pointed to statistics that show one in three children leaving primary school are overweight or obese. In order to address this issue, she thinks menus need to contain "healthy, traceable food", rather than just simply offering kids a plate of chips.

If people want to comment on the proposals put forward by Salford City Council, they are being encouraged to come forward before the consultation date passes, as councillors think they should have a say in the future of their city.    ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801593098-ADNFCR

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