clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

London Considers Ban on Fast-Food Restaurants Near Schools

Nearly one in three 10-year-olds in the UK is either overweight or obese.

Ewan Munro/Flickr

London, England is making a play to ban new fast-food restaurants from opening near schools: The Evening Standard reports Mayor Boris Johnson will propose later this week to restrict fast-food restaurants from being built within a 10-minute walk of a school, or "400m" away from school gates. According to the mayor's proposal, nearly one in three 10-year-olds in the UK is either overweight or obese, leading to an "obesity emergency" throughout the country. The potential ban will only restrict the construction of new fast-food restaurants, allowing those currently operating near schools to remain.

Johnson's proposal isn't the first to limit fast-food restaurants' access to children: In 2009, a New York City lawmaker issued a similar proposal, and in late 2013, Austin's city council debated creating a "healthy food zone" around its schools. Although Austin council members ultimately rejected the proposal, the measure spurred several think pieces and online debates about banning fast-food access. According to many studies (including one by the UK's University of East Anglia earlier this year), "the more unhealthy food outlets there are in a neighborhood, the greater the number of overweight and obese children. The results were more pronounced in secondary school children who have more spending power to choose their own food."

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day