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Assessing the healthiness of menus of all out-of-home food outlets and its socioeconomic patterns in Great Britain.

  • Huang, Yuru
  • Burgoine, Thomas
  • Bishop, Tom RP
  • Adams, Jean
Publication Date
Jan 12, 2024
Apollo - University of Cambridge Repository
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Food environment research predominantly focuses on the spatial distribution of out-of-home food outlets. However, the healthiness of food choices available within these outlets has been understudied, largely due to resource constraints. In this study, we propose an innovative, low-resource approach to characterise the healthiness of out-of-home food outlets at scale. Menu healthiness scores were calculated for food outlets on JustEat, and a deep learning model was trained to predict these scores for all physical out-of-home outlets in Great Britain, based on outlet names. Our findings highlight the "double burden" of the unhealthy food environment in deprived areas where there tend to be more out-of-home food outlets, and these outlets tend to be less healthy. This methodological advancement provides a nuanced understanding of out-of-home food environments, with potential for automation and broad geographic application.

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