Changes in the number of new takeaway food outlets associated with adoption of management zones around schools: A natural experimental evaluation in England

John Rahilly, Ben Amies-Cull, Michael Chang, Steven Cummins, Daniel Derbyshire, Suzan Hassan, Yuru Huang, Matthew Keeble, Bochu Liu, Antonieta Medina-Lara, Oliver Mytton, Nina Rogers, Bea Savory, Annie Schiff, Stephen J. Sharp, Richard Smith, Claire Thompson, Martin White, Jean Adams, Thomas Burgoine

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Abstract

By the end of 2017, 35 local authorities (LAs) across England had adopted takeaway management zones (or “exclusion zones”) around schools as a means to curb proliferation of new takeaways. In this nationwide, natural experimental study, we evaluated the impact of management zones on takeaway retail, including unintended displacement of takeaways to areas immediately beyond management zones, and impacts on chain fast-food outlets. We used uncontrolled interrupted time series analyses to estimate changes from up to six years pre- and post-adoption of takeaway management zones around schools. We evaluated three outcomes: mean number of new takeaways within management zones (and by three identified sub-types: full management, town centre exempt and time management zones); mean number on the periphery of management zones (i.e. within an additional 100 m of the edge of zones); and presence of new chain fast-food outlets within management zones. For 26 LAs, we observed an overall decrease in the number of new takeaways opening within management zones. Six years post-intervention, we observed 0.83 (95% CI -0.30, −1.03) fewer new outlets opening per LA than would have been expected in absence of the intervention, equivalent to an 81.0% (95% CI -29.1, −100) reduction in the number of new outlets. Cumulatively, 12 (54%) fewer new takeaways opened than would have been expected over the six-year post-intervention period. When stratified by policy type, effects were most prominent for full management zones and town centre exempt zones. Estimates of intervention effects on numbers of new takeaways on the periphery of management zones, and on the presence of new chain fast-food outlets within management zones, did not meet statistical significance. Our findings suggest that management zone policies were able to demonstrably curb the proliferation of new takeaways. Modelling studies are required to measure the possible population health impacts associated with this change.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101646
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalSSM - Population Health
Volume26
Early online date19 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Takeaway management zones
  • Exclusion zones
  • Schools
  • Takeaways
  • Urban planning
  • Natural experiment
  • Interrupted time series

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