Outcome A: Access to good food

“Improved access to healthy, affordable and safe food for all residents.”

What we are trying to do

Tackle the identified barriers to universal access to healthy food by reducing the impact of food poverty, dealing with food deserts, reducing saturations of fast food outlets and improving the standard of current food.

Why we are trying to do it

Life expectancy

Life expectancy is 5.3 years lower for men in the most deprived parts of Lambeth compared to those in the least deprived part. Compared to the rest of England, life expectancy is 2.6 years less for men and 1.5 for women.

Food Poverty

Food poverty means not being able to eat healthily due to lack of access to, inability to afford, inadequate knowledge about or inadequate skills to prepare healthy foods. This may be due to a lack of skills or motivation to cook, poor access to cooking or storage facilities, limited access to shops selling affordable healthy food, wasting of food and not enough money.
Availability of food is also a challenge. ‘Food deserts’ are urban areas where affordable healthy food is difficult to obtain. The impact of food deserts is most felt by those who are less mobile and poorer, often this means the elderly. Lambeth high streets are filled with fast food outlets but fewer sellers of fruit and vegetables, other than the markets.

Fast Food Takeaways

There are an estimated 247 takeaway shops in Lambeth. Foods from takeaway outlets have higher levels of energy, fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar. On average they provide 65% more energy than an average diet and a portion of chicken and chips provides over half the recommended daily limit of fat for children.

School children and fast food

Many of the takeaway outlets are situated near schools. 41% of secondary school children never use the school cateen and 80% buy food from local shops. A survey found that 50% of school children go to a takeaway shop after school more than twice a week.
75% of the children said they would not travel for more than 10 minutes to get a takeaway during or after school. Could an enforced a restriction on hot food takeaway outlets from opening up within 400 metres help improve children’s diets?

Food safety

Each year there are approx/imately 500 deaths from food poisoning in the UK. Local Authorities are responsible for inspecting food business premises to ensure they meet appropriate standards. Lambeth Council has signed up to the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) which provides businesses serving or supplying food with a score of 0 to 5. A score of 0 means that urgent improvement is necessary and a score of 5 means a ‘very good’ standard of food hygiene has been achieved. In Lambeth three businesses were given a rating of 0 and 206 were given a rating of 1. However, the majority of businesses were given a rating of 4 or 5.

What you can do