Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'It's Time to Take Away Our Fast Food Culture'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'It's Time to Take Away Our Fast Food Culture'

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Rae Health Reporter

FAMILIES in Newcastle are demanding less fast food and cheap booze outlets as part of a charter for better health.

Within the distance between just three bus stops in Elswick there are 14 fast food outlets and 13 alcohol licensed premises, residents say.

It has prompted people in the area to call for a crackdown on the opening up of further premises.

The "People's Health Charter" has been presented to decision makers on public health and Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, who is now expected to take it to central Government.

Families are also calling for takeaways to display "scores on the doors" with marks for using fewer additives and for outlets such as fish and chip shops to use salt shakers with less holes to reduce amounts of salt in people's diets.

Mum-of-six Lorraine Morris is an Elswick community member who has helped to develop the charter as she wants to improve the health of the area for the benefit of future generations. The 38-year-old said: "I'm very passionate about improving the health of the area as obesity levels and alcohol-related problems are issues for people living here.

"The charter is important because we can't stop people eating fast food but if there were 'scores on the doors' then it gives people a choice to eat better."

The idea came about after a group from Newcastle's West End took part in pioneering one-day behavioural simulation looking at coming up with new solutions at closing the gap in health inequality.

Barbara Cage, senior manager at HealthWORKS Newcastle, said: "Elswick is a very strong community and people here have a great drive and passion to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in the area.

"They want their voices heard and this was a hugely rewarding day which allowed many innovative ideas to come forward. …

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