Scientist: No Evidence Banning Fast Foot Outlets Near Schools Will Curb Child Obesity

29 April 2018, 17:55 | Updated: 29 April 2018, 18:16

A research professor at the UCL Institute of Child Health says he hasn't seen any data to support the claim that banning fast food outlets near schools would help tackle rising child obesity figures.

A ban on fast food outlets opening within 400m of schools is thought to remove temptation for children to eat unhealthily after they finish school.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, suggested the ban referencing research from Brent Council which conducted a survey across seven secondary schools, four of which were within the 400m of a fast food outlet, which found a quarter of respondents would not be prepared to walk for more than eight minutes for a takeaway.

But Professor Paul Gissen told Andrew Castle the proposed ban of fast food outlets within 400-meters of schools is not backed by any data.

He said: "I'm a scientist and I believe in real data, I'm not aware of any data whether making food shops a hundred years further away will make any big difference."

"There is absolutely an epidemic of childhood obesity.

"Yes this is happening.

"I think they probably have more energy consumed than they actually spend.

"It's not just the food they eat, it's how much they exercise.

"This is really important and I think the levels of exercise in the general population has been reducing and there is actually hard data there to to to confirm that."