Craigavon (urban area) has the highest number of McDonald’s per capita in Northern Ireland acccording to a recent survey.
Three McDonald’s stores serve an estimated population of just 65k.
Indeed Craigavon ranks fifth for Fast Food outlets with three McDonalds, a KFC, two Dominos, four Subways and one Costa in the area.
According to treated.com’s online blog entitled “Fast Food Britain: Which Towns Are The Worst Offenders?” Craigavon is fifth on the list of offenders in the north.
Lisburn has the lowest concentration of McDonald’s, where just one store serves a population of over 71,000, according to the survey.
Newry was the town with the highest number of total outlets per capita, and is a small town where every brand is represented.
Derry and Bangor have the healthiest numbers, with the lowest number of outlets per capita.
Belfast’s numbers also favourable when compared to cities of comparable size in Scotland and Wales.
Belfast’s numbers might have looked different if the neighboring ‘suburb’ of Castlereagh was included, which contains two McDonald’s, a Burger King, two KFCs, a Domino’s and two Subway stores.
However, the Castlereagh area was discounted for two reasons: firstly, as of May 2015, it forms part of the Lisburn and Castlereagh council area (but not strictly the urban area); secondly, the latest available urban population figure for the Castlereagh area alone is from 2001, and is therefore not comparable to the other towns and cities included in this study.
Subway have a particularly high presence in Belfast, with 28 stores.
“At first glance, it seems as though urban areas in Wales and Northern Ireland have a higher general concentration than England. However, it should be noted that because we took the 25 and 10 most populous areas in each country (and England is obviously exponentially more populous than its UK neighbours), towns of a comparable size to Newry and Bridgend from England were not measured,” said the blog.
How to avoid temptation
‘The results of the study highlight that fast food outlets are never far from us and the temptation is always there.’ says Sarah Boocock.
Indeed, the main attraction of fast food, as I’ve said before, is convenience.
But as Louise Robertson explains: ‘Fast food should only ever be a very occasional treat. And on the few occasions where you do eat fast food, try and check out the menu beforehand to look for healthier lower fat versions (if there are any). Avoid extra cheese or cream options and choose the smaller portions as often your eyes are bigger than your stomach.’