Online tool maps food retail outlets across England

07 September 2017

As concern rises over the ready availability of high-calorie, high-fat fast food, especially in deprived areas, a new online tool allows councils and campaigners to find out the concentration of outlets by area.

According to new figures made available by Cambridge University’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research (Cedar), there are now 56,638 takeaways in England – more than a quarter of all the country’s food outlets – with some of the heaviest concentrations of fast food found in England’s poorest and most deprived neighbourhoods.

Given the likely contribution of fast food outlets to obesity, the ubiquity of outlets is of concern to councils (which try to limit their spread by means of planning laws), campaigners, policy makers and academics. Cedar's new tool -- the Food Environmental Assessment Tool, or FEAT -- helps by allowing detailed exploration of the geography of food retail access across England.

Its developers suggest that it can be used to:

  • generate local evidence for use in the development of Obesity Strategies, Local and Neighbourhood Plans and Strategic Planning Documents;
  • support planning decisions;
  • compare food access between neighbourhoods;
  • target interventions;
  • test the effectiveness of planning policies.

Explore the tool


Tom Andrews
Soil Association
07 717 802 188

Victoria Williams
Food Matters
0127 343 1713

Kath Dalmeny
0207 065 0902

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

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