There are now more than 8,000 fast food outlets in the capital — the equivalent of one for every 1,000 Londoners.
The proliferation of fast food joints was revealed by London Mayor Boris Johnson as he called on local authorities to help combat rising obesity in the capital by working with independent fast food takeaways to make their food healthier.
The average for England as a whole is 77.9 outlets per 100,000, but in London 25 London boroughs are average or above. 20 of those are considered “well above”.
Currently there are an estimated 8,273 fast food takeaway shops in London.
Data analysed by the Greater London Authority suggests that the London boroughs with the highest concentration of fast food takeaways tend to also rank amongst the most deprived boroughs in the capital.
Out of the top 10 boroughs for concentration of fast food takeaways seven feature in the top 10 for levels of deprivation.
Johnson said this week that he was backing the ‘Takeaways Toolkit’ — a new guide published by the London Food Board that sets out a range of ways that local authorities can tackle the impact of fast food on Londoners’ health.
“We enjoy fast food, while takeaway businesses contribute to local economies,” commented Johnson. “This guide shows how councils can manage the proliferation of takeaways across the capital, but also how by working with businesses as well as schools, we can all be served up much healthier tucker.”
The Takeaways Toolkit sets out how local authorities can develop supplementary planning guidance to restrict how many and where fast food outlets can be sited, and use regulatory measures, including those affecting street trading and the enforcement of environmental and waste regulations.
One suggestion is for councils to work with takeaway owners to reduce the junk by cutting down on saturated fats, salt and sugar in their cooking and putting some low-fat foods on sale.