A Merseyside council is looking to launch a new policy, which will see new fast food outlets banned from opening within a 400m radius of schools and colleges. St Helens Council said the measure was needed to help tackle an obesity problem in its constituency, where an estimated 20,000 people are overweight, leading to an estimated cost to the local health system of £3.6m. The borough is believed to have over 160 hot food takeaways. The exclusion zones will affect cafés, pubs, restaurants and sandwich bars.