Chesterfield is one of England's fast food hotspots

Fast food is typically higher in salt, calories and saturated fat.
Fast food is typically higher in salt, calories and saturated fat.

Chesterfield is one of England's fast food hotspots, new figures show.

According to Public Health England (PHE), there are 151.2 fast food outlets - including chip shops and pizza places - per 100,000 people in Chesterfield.

This means the town ranks ninth in a table of English areas with the most fast food shops per 100,000 people.

By comparison, Blackpool is at number one with 232.2 fast food outlets per 100,000 people.

While not all fast food is unhealthy, it is typically higher in salt, calories and saturated fat, all of which can cause serious health problems when consumed too often and in large quantities.

PHE statistics show 20.7 per cent of Chesterfield children in year six were classified as obese last year.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: "Local authorities have the power to help shape our environment and support people in making healthier choices.

"They need to question whether these fast food hotspots are compatible with their work to help families and young children live healthier lives.

"It's not surprising some children find it difficult to resist the lure of fast food outlets when many neighbourhoods are saturated with them."

Councillor Chris Ludlow, the council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "We have planning policies that can help restrict the number of hot food takeaways in areas where adding more would cause a shopping centre area to be dominated by that type of use.

"That policy can be used to refuse permission for an individual application.

"However, planning policies can only be part of the solution because councils cannot refuse all applications for hot food takeaways.

"With child obesity issues, education is another important part of the process.

"We are involved in a number of partnership projects that support outreach and education work, such as holiday hunger programmes that are designed to raise awareness of healthy lifestyles.

"Another scheme is Five60 which is a programme supported by the School Sport Partnership designed to increase physical activity, raise awareness and knowledge of nutritional choices and improve emotional well-being.

"There is also the Live Life, Better Derbyshire programme which has a range of information and support options on their website about getting fitter and losing weight."

A PHE spokesperson added: "Food outlets can make a contribution to our high streets.

"However, with the impact of obesity on local authority social care budgets estimated at £352million per year, encouraging healthier choices can make a positive difference."