Have a think about what your suburb looks like these days. Are there a lot more fast food joints? You and your neighbours are not alone!

According to a study by Deakin University, it turns out Melburnians have to walk or drive past an average of six stores just to find one who specialises in healthy food. Melbourne’s outer suburbs have even been described as ‘food swamps’.

Takeaway chains have doubled between 2008-2016, and sushi bars, major supermarkets and cafes have gone to new heights in numbers too.

Deakin Institute for Health Transformation Researcher Cindy Neeham says it’s become harder for people to choose the healthier option: ‘It’s like looking at nine doughnuts and a carrot.”

The worst suburbs for the number of fast food outlets are Wyndham, Whittlesea, Melton, Hume, Casey and Cardinia. According to data, residents need to walk or drive past an average of nine stores to find a healthier option.


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