How does local government use the planning system to regulate hot food takeaways? A survey of current practice in England
PHE ePoster Library. Keeble M. Sep 10, 2018; 221253; 148
Matthew Keeble
Matthew Keeble
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Abstract Introduction: Takeaway foods tend to be high in energy, salt and saturated fat. Greater neighbourhood access to hot food takeaway outlets has been associated with increased consumption, less healthy diet and higher body mass index. This has prompted interest in use of the planning system to regulate hot food takeaways.In this paper we describe and characterise current English local authority (LA) planning-led approaches to regulate hot food takeaways.Methods: A systematic, national survey of LA planning policy documents was conducted. We identified policies specifically addressing hot food takeaways, including those with a health (diet and obesity) and non-health focus. We used content analysis to develop a typology of approaches.Results: Across 325 LAs with planning responsibilities, we found that planning policies specific to hot food takeaways had been adopted by 50.5% (164). Of these, 34.2% (56) had a health focus.A typology with two axes was developed: place (retail areas, residential areas, places for children and families, immediate vicinity of outlets, and all areas) and strategy (exclusion zones, limit density, minimise impact, other). Health focused approaches most commonly centred on creating exclusion zones around places for children and families. Non-health focused approaches most commonly centred on minimising impacts across all areas.Conclusion: Over half of English LAs use planning-led approaches to regulate hot food takeaways. Approaches are highly varied. While the focus is not always on health, all approaches may have health-related impacts. Further research is required to understand the rationale for, acceptability, and health impacts of adopted approaches. External funding details Funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School of Public Health Research Programme is gratefully acknowledged
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