War begins to tackle the chicken shop obesity crisis

A Tower Hamlets GP has suggested installing fruit and vegetable stands outside underground stations across London to help battle the country’s obesity crisis.

Sir Sam Everington, who was knighted in 2015 for his services to primary care, has declared “war on chicken shops”. He believes that these take-away chains are appealing to children and largely to blame for the nation’s health decline. According to City Hall figures, nearly 40 per cent of London’s children aged between 10 and 11 are overweight or obese, and adults have higher obesity rates than Paris, New York and Sydney.

Camden Town tube station, east entrance on Kentish Town Road Pic: Sunil Prasannan

Sir Sam is chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group. He has proposed mini greengrocers outside of the 270 Underground entrances. He said: “the stalls would play a crucial role in addressing this issue, by giving children a chance to buy nutritious food”. The Healthy London Partnership, and NHS programme have backed Sir Everington’s plan.

Sir Sam Everington Pic: Healthy London Partnership

At a meeting with the Tower Hamlets health and well-being board, the east London GP added: “There needs to be a cheap, healthy alternative available at a time when people are most vulnerable to picking up something to eat”

Adverts for junk food in London are set to be banned from stations and bus stops next month, as part of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plan to tackle childhood obesity.

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