A tale of two maps: can this be just coincidence?

Yesterday, we published a map illustrating the incidence of obesity among 10 to 11-year-olds across the country, and in London.

Croydon is shown to have one of the highest obesity rates among that age group in London, and in the country, with more than 1 in 5 of the borough’s oldest children at primary school being assessed as obese.

Here’s the London section of that map again, with the dark colour indicating 22 per cent or more of children being obese:

Obesity mapNow here’s another map, showing the density of fast food outlets there are in each borough:

Notice the similarity between the higher incidence of childhood obesity and the availability of cheap, high calorific fast food?

If there is a public health crisis due to obesity, it is caused at least in part because of weak (and weakened) local authority planning powers – our council cannot determine when there are already enough fried chicken takeways (or charity shops, or bookies) in a neighbourhood – coupled with this government’s continuing reductions in funding for sports and fitness activities in our schools and community clubs.

And any obesity among 10-year-olds today will be costing the nation far more in remedial medical treatment in two or three decades’ time.

The fast food outlets map is taken from the Office for National Statistics, in work conducted for Public Health England.The darkest colour on the map, as represented for Croydon, shows where there is more than 107 fast food outlets per 100,000 of population, or more than one takeaway for every 1,000 people.

The notes on the map state: “People generally have easy access to cheap, highly palatable and energy-dense food frequently lacking in nutritional value – such as fast food.

“Research into the link between food availability and obesity is still relatively undeveloped. The concentration of fast food outlets and takeaways varies by local authority in England. The scatter plot shows a strong association between deprivation and the density of fast food outlets, with more deprived areas having more fast food outlets per 100,000 population.”

You can see the map in full, with the accompanying report, by clicking here

  • Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 729,297 page views in 2014.
  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Education, Health, Planning, Schools and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A tale of two maps: can this be just coincidence?

  1. Rod Davies says:

    With the Croydon Local Plan proposing to site new primary and secondary schools (Cherry Orchard Rd – Stephenson House site, and Moreland Rd – Rees House) which do not have playing fields on site or even nearby, the prospect is that Croydon children will not have space for active play and physical education lessons without having to bussed to other areas. This does not bode well for local children and the overall community.

  2. Nick Harman says:

    If your kids eat that crap, it’s your fault not the shops’

  3. You risk a correlation/causation mistake here.

    Can I suggest overlaying something like the Indices for Multiple Deprivation (http://indicesofdeprivation.co.uk) to explore a different angle?

Leave a Reply