EAST Lancashire has more fast food outlets per head than almost every other area of England, new figures reveal.
Burnley and Hyndburn appear in the top 10 list of boroughs with the most takeaways per head of population, while Rossendale and Blackburn with Darwen are close behind, featuring in the top 25, according to figures published by Public Health England.
It comes after obesity figures revealed that two-thirds of East Lancashire residents were overweight or obese.
Burnley had 128 takeaways when the data was collected in 2013, which represented a rate of 147 per 100,000 residents, which was the sixth highest rate in England.
Hyndburn was ninth on the list with 108 takeaways (134 per 100,000), while Rossendale was 11th with 90 outlets (132 per 100,000).
Blackburn with Darwen had 176 takeaways (119 per 100,000), Pendle had 105 (117 per 100,000) and Ribble Valley had 54 (94 per 100,000).
A spokesman from the department of nutrition and dietetics at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “It is extremely troubling that there are so many fast food outlets in the local area.
“Fast food nutrition should make up a only a minimal part of a healthy diet.
“Fast food is high in fat, sodium and sugar, which in the long term can lead to obesity and a range of other health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
“A diet based on starchy foods such as potatoes, rice and pasta, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, some protein-rich foods such as meat, fish and lentils, some milk and dairy foods and not too much fat, salt or sugar, will give you all the nutrients you need and enable you to stay healthy.”
Mohammed Iqbal, deputy chairman of Lancashire County Council’s health scrutiny committee, said: “People need to be more aware of healthy eating but at the end of the day it’s their own choice.
“If someone wants to go to the takeaway after a night out there’s very little you can do to stop them.
“It’s quite difficult to curb the number because of the planning process.”
The survey found that the City of London, Westminster, Blackpool, Islington and Camden had the most takeaways per head last year.
A high-profile study conducted by a large group of English councils found that a typical donor kebab contained ‘shocking’ levels of salt, fat and calories.
They found the average kebab contained 62g of fat, compared to the guideline daily allowance (GDA) of 95g for men and 70g for women.
Unhealthy ingredients to watch out for include trans-fats, which are found in fried takeaway foods like hot chips that are cooked in hydrogenated vegetable oils, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is routinely found in soft drinks and other sweets, monosodium glutamate (MSG), found in Chinese food and condiments, and artificial additives and foods with high sodium content, such as burgers and chips.