Research uncovers Tower Hamlets childrens’ fast food addiction
Children in Tower Hamlets are consuming unhealthy quantities of fast food, according to research conducted by London Metropolitan University.
The report indicates that more than 50 per cent of children surveyed in the borough purchased fast food or fizzy drinks from takeaways at least twice a week, with 10 per cent consuming such products every day.
Consumption was found to be particularly high amongst Asian and black children, with nearly 70 per cent of children of black enthnicity and 54 per cent of Asian children purchasing fast food more than twice a week.
However, councillor Abdul Asad, lead member for health and wellbeing, defended the council’s record of promoting healthy lifestyles for children in the borough.
He said: “Tower Hamlets has launched a range of programmes to ensure that the borough is doing everything possible to tackle the problem of unhealthy diets amongst young people. These initiatives have been extremely successful and we will continue in our efforts to ensure young people enjoy a more healthy life.”
The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, were based on a survey of 193 school children between the ages of 11 and 14. The research was part-funded by NHS Tower Hamlets, partly as a result of the borough’s ongoing problems with childhood obesity, which often correlates to areas of deprivation.
The borough also has an extremely high density of fast food outlets, with more than 40 within close proximity to every school, and 97 per cent of residents living within 10 minutes walk of one.
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Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman vowed to work hard to to tackle the problems highlighted in the report.
He said: “Although I am proud of our achievements, I am aware that there is more work to be done and I look forward to working with NHS colleagues in meeting this pledge.”