Freelancer Journalist, UK

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan intends to put a policy in place that will ban fast food takeaways from opening within 400 metres of schools in an attempt to keep the obesity problem amongst London youths in check.

According to the Evening Standard, Khan ‘will announce the policy in his draft London Plan, the capital’s “planning bible”’, which will be published later this week.

In addition to the ban on fast food close to schools, Khan also intends to implement a rule that will see all new chicken, fish and chip, and pizza outlets having to agree to meet minimum ‘healthy food standards’ before they are allowed planning permission.

Khan would like takeaways to stop frying food so much and instead either grill or bake what’s on offer, as well as adding less salt.

The Evening Standard reports that overweight children are more likely to miss school due to illness and to have diabetes, heart disease, and strokes when they are adults, leaving obesity having a major impact on their lives both in childhood and adulthood.

Although Khan hasn’t specifically outlined whether these outlets will have to meet certain nutritional standards, there is a growing presence of vegan fast food businesses that provide a healthier alternative to traditional takeaways. If Khan hopes to improve the health of children in London, it may encourage outlets to offer more plant based options and provide children with a tasty after-school treat that still packs a nutritional punch.

Plant based options can still include food like burgers but can be made from a host of different vegetables, legumes and superfoods that come without the saturated fat and cholesterol that chicken and beef burgers do.