Redesigning the fast food environment to make everyday takeaways healthier

The Challenge

There are over 8,000 fast food outlets in London alone and each meal served provides on average 68% of recommended daily calories. The link between number of fast food outlets, fast food consumption and obesity rate is well established, plus there’s a higher prevalence of fast food outlets in more deprived areas.

Online ordering of hot delivered food has also increased in recent years, adding to the move towards takeaways being an everyday option. Yet the nutritional profiles of takeaway meals continue to reflect their traditional use – as an occasional treat.

Shift have got under the skin of the challenge in terms of understanding the nutrition of takeaways meals, the role this food plays in people’s lives, the nature of the businesses involved and how their owners relate to them. They are crystal clear on what we can (and can’t) hope to influence and what we have to work with in order to effect change.

Adrian Phillips, Director of Public Health, Birmingham City Council

The Solution

We’re developing a takeaway service designed to be good to eat everyday. Targeted at lower income, urban families it aims to be just as convenient and affordable as the market alternatives, but healthier for you.

So far…

  • Explore our work in this area over the last six years including our research findings, comment pieces, tactics and prototypes.
  • 167 outlets mapped across 5 wards in 3 Local Authorities
  • Over 500 takeaway meals nutritionally analysed 12 indepth interviews with takeaway owners and staff
  • Series of workshops with public health and obesity experts
  • Ethnographic research study with 60+ takeaway eaters
  • 5 stealthy healthy interventions tested in 4 outlets in a takeaway-dense area of Tower Hamlets, London
  • Ethnographic research study involving 200 hours with 44 families using a range of innovative methods including tracking via our EatMap app we built to track location and eating habits, GoPro’s strapped to children as well as shop alongs and safaris to build a comprehensive picture of the environment’s impact of family food behaviours.

 

Research

VIDEO Families and Food: How the environment influences what families eat

June 18, 2018

Insights video summarising our research into how the environment influences families’ food behaviours in Lambeth and Southwark. Videography by Jan Stockel, produced by Maia Muir Wood, and Chloe Cook. Commissioned by Guys and St Thomas’ Charity.

Families and Food: How the environment influences what families eat

June 14, 2018

Research report produced by Shift for Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. By Chloe Cook, Maia Muirwood and Chris Holmes

Bite Size: Breaking down the challenge of inner-city childhood obesity

June 1, 2018

Report exploring what behavioural science, lived experience and insights from leading practitioners tell us about one of the biggest health challenges of our time, childhood obesity. Produced by Guys and St Thomas’s Charity, with content and production from Chloe Cook and Maia Muir Wood.

VIDEO: Bite Size: Breaking down the challenge of inner-city childhood obesity

Video exploring what behavioural science, lived experience and insights from leading practitioners tell us about one of the biggest health challenges of our time, childhood obesity. Produced by Guys and St Thomas’s Charity, with content and production contributions from Chloe Cook and Maia Muir Wood.

Stealthy Fast Food: Phase 2 Evaluation Report

December 6, 2017

Evaluation report of experimental feasibility study aiming to test a variety of realistic adaptations to fast food business and evaluate these adaptations to understand their relative effectiveness in relation to sales, costs, customer satisfaction and health. Funded by Public Health, Tower Hamlets. By Chloe Cook and Chris Holmes

Healthier Fast Food: Mapping the Fast Food Environment in Hackney

May 10, 2017

Evaluation report of a pilot research project undertaken from June 2016 to April 2017 mapping the changing fast food environment of two streets in Hackney, London: Morning Lane and Well Street.

Chloe Cook, Chris Holmes and Kathleen Collett

Chicken Shops: Fuelling London’s Youth

October 2, 2013

Infographic on the prevalence and effect of fast food outlets

Tori Flower and Kate Ferrier

Chicken Shops and Poor Diets

October 1, 2013

Summary of research findings including behavioural observation, survey of young people, local environment mapping, ethnography, chicken shop business profiling

Tori Flower and Tayo Medupin

Comment

Box Chicken Launch

Hadrian Garrard from Create London and Nick Stanhope discuss the need for practical interventions to tackle poor diets at the launch of Box Chicken, a pilot of a healthy fast food outlet.

@Shift_org

Partners

Do you want to get involved? We'd love to hear from you
Email me - chris.holmes@shiftdesign.org.uk