Edinburgh beats Glasgow as ‘toxic’ fast food capital of Scotland

GLASGOW, the culinary home of the sausage supper and mixed pakora, has been beaten to the title of Scotland’s “most toxic city” by Edinburgh, where chips come drizzled in salt ’n’ sauce.

GLASGOW, the culinary home of the sausage supper and mixed pakora, has been beaten to the title of Scotland’s “most toxic city” by Edinburgh, where chips come drizzled in salt ’n’ sauce.

A study of the number of fast-food outlets per head of population has found that Scotland’s capital has a higher ratio of junk food emporiums than Glasgow, which regularly tops polls as the unhealthiest place in Scotland.

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While Glasgow has one takeaway, cafe or coffee shop for every 923 people, Edinburgh has one for every 725 people, which puts it third in Britain, with only Bristol (1 for 623) and Manchester (1 for 492) ahead in a new study carried out by Weight Watchers.

Manchester is now classed as Britain’s “most toxic city” by the dieting organisation in the battle against obesity as it has been found to have the highest number of fast-food outlets per head of population.

Brighton was fourth (768), London fifth (830) and Glasgow sixth (923).

What Glasgow evidently lacks in numbers, it makes up for in calories. For as well as being home to fish suppers and curries, the city is also home to the Munchy-Box, which is a pizza box that typically contains doner meat, chips, cheese, garlic bread and pakora and totals as many as 2,200 calories and 150 grams of fat.

A recent pilot study by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) found that more than half the food purchased by Scottish pupils from takeaway shops close to their schools exceeded recommended levels of fat and calories.

Launching its New Approach campaign, Weight Watchers is making members more aware of their environment, and food and drink habits.

Zoe Hellman, head of public health at Weight Watchers, said: “We are helping members tackle their toxic environments, as members are encouraged to take control of their spaces and make better eating decisions.

“This isn’t about demonising ‘bad food’, it’s about being more aware of the choices we make each and every day so that we can begin to make better, healthier choices for our future health.”

Last night, Dr Carina Norris, a registered nutritionist based in Scotland, said she was surprised that Edinburgh had come ahead of Glasgow in the survey.

“Sad to say, but Glasgow does have a very bad press for unhealthy statistics, but then again Edinburgh is a big city so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that it has so many of anything.

“You could also find that it has a lot more healthy eating 
options than Glasgow.

“But it is a cause for concern. People talk about the obeso-genic environment that we live in now, which means that our environment leads us to become obese because we are surrounded by fast foods and labour-
saving devices.

“We don’t walk so much or take exercise. It makes it so much more difficult to stay healthy and eat in a healthy way.

“I would be keen to find out where the healthy options are because the choice remains with people. If they want to, very occasionally, have fast food then that is OK, but there is no point in slamming fast food places if the problem is that there is no where that you can eat 
healthily.”