Food Standards Agency figures have revealed Bury and Tameside as amongst the UK’s top places for number of takeaways in a list dominated by towns and cities in the North West.
Bury was sixth and Tameside ninth in the league table of areas of the UK ranked by the number of takeaway restaurants they have per 100,000 residents.
The revelation comes following warnings of an ‘obesity epidemic’, and after figures released earlier this year showed the North West as the most obese region in the country.
Haleh Moravej, senior lecturer in nutritional sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Research suggests that having too many takeaway outlets near our homes, workplaces, and even on the daily commute to work, could be increasing the risk of obesity and weight gain.
“Data suggests that consumption of food away from the home in the UK has increased by almost a third, and the number of takeaway outlets has increased dramatically.
“This is creating an ‘obesogenic’ environment, causing individuals to make unhealthy food choices with very little nutritional value.
“Nutritionists and policy makers believe that modifying the availability of fast food outlets could be an element in influencing nutrition and health in the UK.”
The figures show that there are fewer than 800 residents for every takeaway in Bury and Tameside, with life expectancy in the North West currently over a year below the national average for men and women.
She added: “Policies to improve diets and body weight by restricting takeaway food access may work but they will only be offering us one piece of a complicated puzzle.”
“Obesity is a combination of several factors such as lifestyle, psychological, diet and activity, that are contributing to the nation’s growing waistlines.
“A ‘foodscape’ that is about creating healthy environments and healthy food choices in communities is just another factor we need to consider and not the only solution to tackling obesity.“
The top ten ranking, which excluded the City of London, was topped by Blackpool, with Burnley, Hyndburn and Blackburn with Darwen also featuring alongside Bury and Tameside.
Image courtesy of Google StreetView, with thanks.