Dudley fast food exclusion zones around schools

image captionFast food outlets are a "contributing factor" to high levels of child obesity in Dudley, councillors say

Fast food outlets can no longer be built within 400m of schools in a Black Country borough to try to curb obesity.

The decision, approved Dudley Council, comes amid concerns that 15,000 youngsters in the borough are overweight or obese.

Dudley's "exclusion zones", which will also include youth clubs, are among the first to be set up in England.

The new rules will guide future planning decisions. However, they will not affect existing takeaways.

A council spokesman said the outlets were a "contributing factor" to borough youth obesity, with more than 8,000 children in the area officially obese.

The five-year scheme is included in the council's Planning for Health document.

Similar schemes have been considered in Kent and Rotherham, although it is believed to be the first time any measures have been imposed in the West Midlands.

In Dudley, as many as one in five people - including children - are believed to be overweight or obese, the council said.

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