RCPCH calls for increased powers to enforce fast food 'exclusion zone'

RCPCH calls for increased powers to enforce fast food 'exclusion zone'

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has urged the government to introduce increased powers for local authorities to ban fast food outlets from opening within 400 metres of schools in England.

In the Daily Telegraph, Prof Russell Viner, RCPCH president, said: “Kids are coming out of school hungry and finding themselves surrounded by cheap chicken shops, chip shops and other types of junk food. This just wasn’t the case 20 or 30 years ago.

“People tend to eat what’s in front of them and we need to make it easier for children to make the right choices.”

Viner said local authorities needed increased powers to make it easier to bring in such bans. A number of councils have introduced these measures, but others said they faced too much red tape.

The college also proposed that there be a national programme to weigh and measure children from birth through to their teenage years, calling for GPs to be given training in how to talk to parents about children who gain weight.

“We need to be prepared to have difficult conversations and to make every contact count in the fight against obesity. We have to take a leap of faith to protect current and future generations.”

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