The Southern Downs has no shortage of fast food outlets.
The Southern Downs has no shortage of fast food outlets. Mike Richards GLA081013BUGR

Southern Downs saturated in fast food restaurants

THE Southern Downs has been ranked within the top 15 worst areas in the state for the number of fast food restaurants compared to the population.

In a bid to find Queensland's fast food capitals, Diabetes Queensland has ranked areas according to how many fast food restaurants are in the region compared to the population.

Out of a ranking from 1-37, with 1 being the worst, the Southern Downs was ranked number 14.

The analysis found there were 12 fast food outlets in the local government area, or one restaurant for every 2963 people.

The Southern Downs came before most of its neighbours. The Lockyer Valley was ranked 17th, while Toowoomba was ranked 19th.

But Goondiwindi was ranked 7th.

Diabetes Queensland chief Michelle Trute said there was a high concentration of fast food outlets in some communities that were on major highways.

"While this isn't necessarily a reflection on councils, it is concerning that people who use these highways, including workers in the transport sector and families on long trips, have limited options when it comes to grabbing a bite on the road," she said.

"It might be easy to pull in and grab a burger and a sugary drink, but this convenience comes with a long-term cost."

Ms Trute also said a recent health report showed for every dollar Queenslanders spent on food, almost half was spent at fast food outlets and restaurants.

"This is concerning because meals consumed outside of the home are likely to be larger portions and contain more unhealthy fats and kilojoules," she said.

Ms Trute called for action.

"When it comes to fast food that could include mandatory kilojoule labelling, a tax on sugary drinks, limits on fast food restaurants near certain locations like schools and bans on junk food advertising to children," she said.

FAST FOOD

In the Southern Downs 59% of adults are overweight or obese

Data collected on fast food chains including Oporto, Nandos, KFC, Eagle Boys, Hungry Jacks, Donut King, Red Rooster, Dominos, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Guzman y Gomez, Subway, Noodle Box, Miss India and Pizza Capers.



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