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TOPIC: Healthy eating in the Park?

Healthy eating in the Park?
19 Feb 2018 09:34 #3631

Adrian Day Adrian Day's Avatar Topic Author

There's a new mobile catering outlet in Broomfield Park and not surprisingly it's causing some debate. The mobile replaces the ice cream van near the children's playground. As well as being a bit of an eyesore (admittedly a subjective judgement), the food and drink on offer seems directly in conflict with the Council's healthy eating and Sugar Smart campaigns. Surely the Council shouldn't be encouraging burgers, chips and fizzy drinks on their own premises?

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Healthy eating in the Park?
19 Feb 2018 16:09 #3632

I just cannot believe Enfield Council this is no disrespectful to the owner of this ugly looking fast food truck of course they are trying to make a living...but more so Enfield Council, on one hand the British Government want to deal with obesity in the UK and on the other hand they are flaunting mobile processed food and sugary soft drinks, of course for children and also adults who have a weakness for these unhealthy foods will continue eating fast food if put in obvious places...

The council's will do anything to make money for themselves...they don't care about people's health and it will make the area look...its all about the money...

The park already has a cafeteria it's beautiful and more importantly clean and healthy, I work for the NHS how many more people will I have to educate eating healthy & exercising is all part of having a good quality of life and not having to tell them they have high diabetes and cholesterol...which they tell me that is what they try to avoid, they are stunt when I list them the bad foods and to avoid they are shocked and they cannot believe that is what leads them to take take medication...education is paramount when it comes to foods people are oblivious...

The area of Palmers Green is already overloaded with takeaway shops and MacDonald's how much more rubbish do they want to dump in our area, Enfield Council are genuinely trying to make the area look even poorer then it already has left to become...

I believe its the people who allow it is at fault and allowed to be near a children's playground that says it all...

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Healthy eating in the Park?
19 Feb 2018 17:23 #3633

“There is evidence that regular consumption of energy-dense food from hot food takeaways is associated with weight gain, and that takeaway food is appealing to children.” So says the Mayor in his Draft London Plan (s6.9.7)

What it also adds is Policy E9C: “Development proposals containing A5 hot food takeaway uses should not be permitted where these are within 400 metres walking distance of an existing or proposed primary or secondary school. Boroughs that wish to set a locally-determined boundary from schools must ensure this is sufficiently justified."

Now the plan is not yet adopted and so the policy itself is not formally in place, and nor is a playground a school, but I think the intent and London's future direction is clear enough.

Where any development proposals involving hot food takeaways are permitted then the Mayor will be insisting that as a condition the operator achieves and operates to the Healthy Catering Charter. (As an aside, look out for news of this Charter re Palmers Green Festival 2018 when I finally get round to it.)

The guidance, from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, is available. You can then compare the menu on the van highlighted in Adrian’s photo with this guidance.

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This does seem one where someone from LBE needs to make a case for us all to see.

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Healthy eating in the Park?
19 Feb 2018 17:54 #3634

The commercial development department has granted a licence until 2021. Given Enfield's tendency to "silo" management I wonder whether any other departments were consulted.

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Healthy eating in the Park?
22 Feb 2018 09:35 #3642

Some mixed messages here, if I may with trepidation step into this dicussion. Current advice on health grounds identifies sugar-rich food and drinks (especially sugary drinks aimed at kids) as the most obvious "threat" to health, although like any dodgy element of a diet, partaking once every now and again is not going to have any real effect. If your kids have a sugary drink every time they go the park, but they only go there once a month, there is no issue - unless they are drinking similar drinks everywhere else they go. That is an issue for parents, not for the vendor or the council (although it would OF COURSE be good if the Council stipulated no sugar-rich drinks and/or the vendor chose to provide only healhier drinks).

There are also knee-jerk reactions always to foods such as chips and burgers, often aimed at fast food outlets. Chips and burgers are low in sugar and are in general nutritious, which makes them reasonable food to give to kids as part of an overall healthy diet. Chips cooked in vegetable oil contain plenty of energy in a non-refined-sugar form and are perfectly fine, and a well-made burger using lean meat and perhaps some salad has tons of protein.

The main threats around us to kids' health in dietary terms are the unhealthy foods that crop up in their diet every day, for which parents must take at least some of the responsibility. High-sugar and high-fat foods (which includes ice-cream, as served previously by a van in the park) eaten relentlessly over years increases the risk of obesity and eventually the possibility of diabetes, heart disease and so on. We all want our kids to learn and keep to healthy eating guidelines, but that includes understanding that you can indulge from time to time.

In my opinion our reaction to a food outlet in a public place should be "Out of the food and drinks on offer, what would I be content to feed my child, bearing in mind where the risks are and how large or small a part of their overall diet this is likely to be?" There are likely to be some parents who identified everything sold by the ice cream van previously on site as pernicious on the grounds of their very high sugar and fat content, who would be happy to feed their children more nutritious and protein-rich foods, and a bottle of water rather than a very high-sugar drink.

However I have not sampled any of the foods on offer!

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Healthy eating in the Park?
23 Feb 2018 12:40 #3646

Chips and burgers are in general nutritious.

Christ. Now I've heard everything.

I make burgers at home, all fresh ingredients, lean meats, vege extras like grated carrot, no added sugar or minimal salt. Grilled not fried and served with sweet potato wedges.

How does ANY of that compare to the kind of greasy fried trash purveyed by outlets such as this? Disgusting, I'd never let my kids near it.

It's not like it's some kind of trendy food truck, definitely a place for them, serving interesting worldly nutritious vans. This is more akin to David Walliams' Ratburger.

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Healthy eating in the Park?
25 Feb 2018 00:40 #3650

Hello all, We use Broomfield Park daily and enjoy it very much. In my opinion one of the nicest parks in London. On the 17th February (last Saturday) when the weather was nice, the air quality in the small field was pungent with the smell of fried onions and burgers. Even when we left the park on Broomfield Lane the smells still wafted over.

I do not agree with having a burger van at the gates of a children’s play area. If it is going to stay here then the filtration from the cooking smells need to be rectified, with summer approaching and wind speeds dropping this problem will only compound itself.

In addition what steps are being taken from the increased litter along with rats/vermin associated with the burger van?

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Healthy eating in the Park?
26 Feb 2018 21:33 #3652

Can't agree more with most of the comments above. It just seems to be a no-brainer that this shouldn't have been approved. I definitely take on board the comments that unhealthy food in moderation is ok and that the ultimate responsibility does rest with parents, but:
a) that doesn't remove the fumes and smells from the generator and frying
b) it makes it far harder to tell your young child that they shouldn't eat lots of this type of food, when it is so obvious to them in a place that you otherwise encourage them to go to
c) this isn't just young children, older children that may be more able to play alone with their friends now have yet another outlet to buy almost exclusively unhealthy options

If the council are serious about reducing obesity rates and improving health, this certainly doesn't reflect that. A few more trips to Grovelands Park, perhaps....

(it also looks very intrusive and out of place in what is otherwise a nice green space)

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