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What is the Cork Food Map?
The map you’re about to see is a catalogue and analysis of food businesses in Cork and the patterns related to where they are located.
The Cork Food Policy Council (CFPC) commissioned the Cork Food Map as part of a larger, ongoing project to develop a complete profile of the food system in Cork to identify and address food-related issues affecting the people living in the region.
Some of the issues the CFPC are concerned about include the rise of obesity (in Ireland sixty percent of adults and one in four children are considered obese), the increase in the number of families that find it difficult to put nourishing food on the table, and the disconnect from local food producers as we import more and more food.
The CFPC view the map as a tool to address the food-related issues by providing evidence to recommend and initiate policy change for a healthier Cork City.
The map was commissioned by the CFPC, funded by the Healthy Ireland Fund, and developed by Tomás Kelly in 2018/19.
Join us for an evening of discussion inspired by the recently developed Cork Food Map on Wednesday January 22nd from 6.30pm. More info.
What does the Cork Food Map tell us?
The map is an inventory of the types and locations of food businesses that exist within Cork City. The different types of food businesses have been divided into six categories including Bakeries, Confectioneries, Doughnuts & Ice Cream; Cafes, Delis & Bistros; Fast Food Chains; Restaurants without Takeaways; Restaurants/Takeaways & Takeaways; and Juice Bars.
By looking at the map and interacting with its different tabs, you can see certain insights about Cork’s food environment such as ‘the population density of small areas within the catchment area of “bakeries, confectioneries, doughnuts and ice cream” is the highest of all food retail outlet categories. Outlets from this category also have a strong tendency to cluster in the city centre.’
How is the Cork Food Map being used?
The Cork Food Map is being used to look at the types of food marketing that is advertised in close proximity to schools. Using the Cork Food map, three secondary schools were randomly selected from across the most-disadvantaged socioeconomic areas in Cork City. The analysis found that the majority of products advertised within a 500m radius of the three schools is unhealthy and of low nutritional value. Coupled with the density and type of food retail outlets in these neighbourhoods, the findings highlight the need for reduced marketing of foods high in fat, sugar, and salt to children, as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In a 2016 study, the WHO stated that there was unequivocal evidence that childhood obesity is influenced by marketing of unhealthy food and beverages. Children are targeted by marketers because the habits of product consumption and brand loyalty acquired in childhood significantly influence consumption at an adult age.
Currently, there are no national regulations in Ireland that restrict the type of food marketing or food businesses in close proximity to schools. The Cork Food Map highlights the unhealthy environmental exposures that surround children and adolescents in Cork City, and the need for a healthier food environment around schools focused on nutritional foods.
This is just one example of how the Cork Food Map has been used to address a health-related issue within Cork City. We hope that the map will become a resource for many people to use in their research of Cork’s food system.
Why is the Cork Food Map important?
It is the goal of the CFPC that this food map be used to provide objective evidence to inform policy that will reduce the impact of the toxic food environment in Cork. By working toward a greater understanding of Cork’s food landscape, we seek to initiate change that will improve the health and wellbeing of the citizens of Cork.
We hope you enjoy exploring Cork’s food environment—your food environment—as you interact with the map. For further information or questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Open the Cork Food Map in a new window
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