Revealed: Ipswich has the highest number of fast food outlets in Suffolk
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The number of takeaway food shops in England has risen by 4,000 in the past three years, it can be revealed.
Figures from Cambridge University’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research show there are 56,638 takeaway restaurants in England – and 623 of those are in Suffolk.
The research found a link between the heaviest concentration of fast food restaurants and the country’s poorest and deprived areas.
The borough of Ipswich had the most fast food outlets in Suffolk with 157 while Mid Suffolk had only 52.
The number of fast food outlets comes as Suffolk aims to be the most active county and reduce obesity levels.
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A Suffolk County Council spokesman said this will not stop the county from achieving its goal.
He said: “The number of takeaway restaurants will not detract us from continuing to achieve our target of becoming the most active county.
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“Just because there are that many in the county does not mean that people will not choose to get active and we will continue to provide and promote fun, friendly events, regardless as we continue to get people moving and realise our goal of making Suffolk the most active county.”
According to the data, Babergh has 54 fast food outlets, Suffolk Coastal has 100, Waveney is home to 115, St Edmundsbury has 87 and Forest Heath has 58.
In Ipswich, the number of fast food restaurants has risen by 5% in the past three years.
However an Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said comparing the boroughs is misleading.
He said: “It would be misleading to compare a large urban centre like Ipswich with rural areas and smaller towns.”
Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance, said: “Despite the health impact of the obesity epidemic being well known, it is shocking that the number of fast food takeaways is increasing.
“Whether it’s the marketing of junk food on billboards and TV, or the proximity of junk food outlets to schools, we know our environment has a huge impact on levels of overweightness and obesity.”
In Blackburn-with-Darwen, 38% of all food retail outlets are given over to fast food which is the highest proportion in England.
It has 236 takeaways in all.