Is healthy fast food possible?

There is growing interest in obesogenic environments — and that includes the proliferation of cheap fast food outlets and how the number of fast food outlets in an area is associated with the level of obesity.

Trouble is, fast food is popular – so rather than change consumer behaviour, is it viable to change the product?  This is question posed by Shift and discussed in their recent report Healthy Fast Food – Evaluating a new approach to improving the food environment.

The report observes that there are already examples of ‘more healthy’ fast food, but that current models are unlikely to prove successful in areas in most need of healthy food options.

Shift trialled six healthy fast food propositions and assessed viability in relation to various metrics including volume of sales and operating profit.  They conclude that two of the six showed ‘genuine potential for sustainability’.

The challenges of competing in the fast food market, with a more healthy product (which some may find intrinsically less appealing) are considerable.  However this report contains some good advice for anyone up for the challenge!


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