Hefty increase in the number of Wigan takeaways

There are hundreds of takeaways in Wigan
There are hundreds of takeaways in Wigan

As the obesity crisis grows, alarming figures reveal that there are 85 more fast food outlets in Wigan now than there were in 2010.

Data compiled by the BBC has highlighted the rapid increase in borough takeaways, with 215 now lining Wigan’s streets compared to 130 eight years ago.

These figures reveal a 40 per cent increase in fast food eateries, meaning that there are now 66 takeaways per 100,000 people compared to 41 when the records began.

Despite this, Wigan is listed as average compared to other areas of England such as Westminster, which boasts a whopping 127 per 100,000 people or Blackpool with a rate of 97.

Of the 395 eateries in Wigan, takeaways make up more than half at 54 per cent compared to 45 per cent of just 240 food outlets back in 2010.

The town hall has explained that it is only responsible for licences when the premises stays open after 11pm and that there is little that can be done to stop takeaways from operating as long as they are within these hours.

Under Wigan Council’s latest licensing policy, two cumulative impact zones were introduced in town centres which address the levels of

alcohol related crime, disorder and nuisance.

Late-night takeaways in Wigan now fall under the policy and new premises are required to provide “substantial evidence” they will not add to these problems in order to be granted a licence.

Health bosses have explained that there are “comprehensive” measures in place to combat the growing obesity crisis.

Commenting previously, Prof Kate Ardern, council director of public health, said: “We have a number of brilliant fully commissioned comprehensive obesity services, including Lose Weight, Feel Great, to encourage people to take control of their health and make healthier life choices.

“We know if we start early with our children, we can lay the foundations of good practice, make physical activity and health eating the norm, and work towards our vision of prevention of ill health.”

The Lose Weight, Feel Great initiative includes a number of services to help people manage their weight, including an online programme, one-to-one support from a health trainer, a consultant-led weight management service, and the group-based community weight management programme.

Services aim to offer support and advice about healthy eating, physical activity and behaviour change, to help people lose weight and “keep it off for good”.

Prof Ardern added: “Our Let’s Get Movin’ programme has received national recognition for tackling childhood obesity and has been used as an example of best practice.

“Not only does it encourage children to adopt a healthy way of living and teaches them the benefits of eating healthily and exercising, it also educates parents and helps them to introduce healthy life choices, which is a crucial aspect of improving wellbeing.

“Our work through Wellfest and the Daily Mile further demonstrates our commitment to tackling health and wellness in the borough.”

The news comes just months after Wigan was named as one of the fattest towns in the country.

A study released by Public Health England, back in April, shows that more than double the amount of Wiganers are being admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of obesity.

In England there were 1,159 per 100,000 people seeking hospital care for obesity in 2016/17 yet in the same period a whopping 2,361 Wiganers per 100,000 were seen for the same problems.