The geography of Fast Food outlets: a review

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 May;7(5):2290-308. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7052290. Epub 2010 May 6.


The availability of food high in fat, salt and sugar through Fast Food (FF) or takeaway outlets, is implicated in the causal pathway for the obesity epidemic. This review aims to summarise this body of research and highlight areas for future work. Thirty three studies were found that had assessed the geography of these outlets. Fourteen studies showed a positive association between availability of FF outlets and increasing deprivation. Another 13 studies also included overweight or obesity data and showed conflicting results between obesity/overweight and FF outlet availability. There is some evidence that FF availability is associated with lower fruit and vegetable intake. There is potential for land use policies to have an influence on the location of new FF outlets. Further research should incorporate good quality data on FF consumption, weight and physical activity.

Keywords: fast food; geography; obesity; take away.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Food*
  • Geography*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Restaurants*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology