Wednesday 30 November 2022

More fast food outlets set up next to schools, despite obesity rise

Photo: Depositphotos.com

More and more fast food outlets are opening up close to Dutch schools, despite government efforts to encourage healthy eating, according to research by current affairs tv programme Pointer.

Over the past 10 years, the number of snack bars within a five minutes walk of a secondary school have gone up 40%, while the number of supermarkets has risen 26%, Pointer says.

One in six teenagers in the Netherlands is considered to be too heavy, and their number has doubled over the past 30 years.

VU University food scientist Jaap Seidell told Pointer that the ‘distraction’ provided by fast food outlets is only making the problem worse. ‘Local authorities should be setting limits on the amount of fast food,’ he said.

Junior health minister Maarten van Ooijen described the findings as ‘shocking’ and that he would look at what could be done to help councils cut back.

In both 2019 and 2021, Amsterdam city council mooted banning snack bars and other unhealthy food outlets from setting up within walking distance of schools.

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