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The impact of school exclusion zone planning guidance on the number and type of food outlets in an English local authority: A longitudinal analysis

Brown, Heather and Kirkman, Scott and Albani, Viviana and Goffe, Louis and Akhter, Nasima and Hollingsworth, Bruce and von Hinke, Stephanie and Lake, Amelia (2021) 'The impact of school exclusion zone planning guidance on the number and type of food outlets in an English local authority: A longitudinal analysis.', Health & Place, 70 .


The use of planning policy to manage and create a healthy food environment has become a popular policy tool for local governments in England. To date there has been no evaluation of their short-term impact on the built environment. We assess if planning guidance restricting new fast food outlets within 400 m of a secondary school, influences the food environment in the local authority of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. We have administrative data on all food outlets in Newcastle 3 years pre-intervention 2012–2015, the intervention year 2016, and three years’ post-intervention 2016–2019. We employ a difference-in-difference approach comparing postcodes within the school fast food outlet exclusion zone to those outside the fast-food exclusion zones. In the short term (3 years), planning guidance to limit the number of new fast-food outlets in a school exclusion zone did not have a statistically significant impact on the food environment when compared with a control zone.

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Date accepted:01 June 2021
Date deposited:24 August 2021
Date of first online publication:09 June 2021
Date first made open access:24 August 2021

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