Portsmouth takeaways urged to serve smaller portions as part of school 'superzone'
EXISTING fast food takeaways in Portsmouth could serve smaller portions as part of a plan to create a healthy 'superzone' around one Portsmouth school.
Members of the city's health and wellbeing board have approved the trial of an obesity-tackling superzone around Arundel Court Primary Academy in Landport.
As a result no new hot food takeaways will be able to open within a 400m radius of the school. And road closures during school start and close times, a ban on smoking at the school gates and promoting healthy eating in school will also be implemented.
Currently there are almost 20 takeaways within the zone.
Speaking at the board meeting Siobhan McCurrach from Healthwatch Portsmouth said: 'What's being done about the ones (takeaways) currently there? There will be a number of them already set up.'
Health consultant at Portsmouth City Council, Dominique Le Touze, confirmed changes would be made to food outlets within the zone. She said: 'There's work already in that area to work alongside existing takeaways to provide healthier options.
'This includes reducing portion sizes so not reducing the choices but offering a smaller portion for those who want it.
'There is also the Eat Out Eat Well score, similar to the food hygiene ratings, which indicates there are healthy options available in the outlet. And going forward we are very interested to hear other ideas from people.'
Ideas for the superzone came from students at Arundel Court after figures revealed one in four reception aged children in Portsmouth are overweight or obese - above the national average.
Members of the board were unanimous in praising the children.
Councillor Judith Smyth said: 'There are some more radical ideas in other places. But it's good that we are following the children's lead.'
The council's health and wellbeing boss, Cllr Matthew Winnington, concluded the meeting. 'I completely endorse this,' he said.
'I was lucky enough to go with Councillor Stagg and Councillor Ashmore to see a powerpoint put on by the children of Arundel Court. It really was from the mouths of babes.'
If successful the scheme could be rolled out across the rest of the city.