UK high streets have the highest concentration of fast food outlets in almost a decade, figures show.
Despite town halls attempting to limit their spread, in most areas the number of takeaways per 100,000 people was at its highest since 2010.
Research suggests people most exposed to them are nearly twice as likely to be obese.
An industry group said proposals to introduce calorie labels on menus could hit independent shops.
The BBC’s Shared Data Unit analysed the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It found:
- The UK has seen a 34% increase in fast food outlets from 2010 to 2018
- In 2010, the average number of fast food outlets per 100,000 people was 47. It had risen to 61 by 2018
- In nearly every area (204 out of 215) the rate of takeaways per 100,000 people was higher in 2018 than 2010
In Rotherham, South Yorkshire, nearly three quarters of people are deemed to be overweight or obese, according to figures published by Public Health England.
Nearly 60% of all food businesses in Rotherham are fast food or takeaways, and nearby business owners say the number of outlets has been growing rapidly.
“In the last couple of years I’ve seen 60 to 80 pizza shops open in Rotherham,” said Ismail Shahjahan, who has run a takeaway in the town for the past 16 years.
“My business was very good two or three years ago, but given that there are now so many more takeaways I’ve seen the number of customers coming to my takeaway fall.”