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Home Industry News The Royal Society for Public Health ranks UK High Streets’ health

The Royal Society for Public Health ranks UK High Streets’ health

9th November 2018

The Royal Society for Public Health has reported on the changing face of the UK’s High Streets, and scored them between 8 and -4 to create a list of healthy and unhealthy ones. Their report has deemed High Streets in Grimsby, Walsall and Blackpool the unhealthiest, and High Streets in Edinburgh, Canterbury and Taunton the healthiest. London has a separate ranking, with Harringay the unhealthiest, and Muswell Hill the healthiest.
The report says our High Streets are dominated by cafes and coffee shops, convenience stores, off-licences, vape shops and boarded-up premises, and considered the dwindling numbers of pubs and bars as a positive presence on the High Street because they are centres for social interaction, albeit many people use the coffee shops as places to socialise, eat and drink instead. Museums and art galleries, leisure centres and libraries were also considered a good thing. Vape shops were seen as a positive presence because they discourage smoking tobacco.
Payday lenders, bookmakers, tanning salons and fast food outlets on the other hand were considered a negative presence. The former two because of the devastating consequences debt can have on health, family and work life, and the latter because the increase in fast-food outlets was mostly in deprived areas, and a direct link has been made between deprived areas and unhealthy High Streets.
CEO at RSPG, Shirley Cramer, said: “When our time and money are converted into a loss at the bookmaker, a tan from a sunbed, a high-cost loan or a bucket of fried chicken, the High Street is enabling and supporting poor health behaviours. Our Health on the High Street rankings illustrate how unhealthy businesses concentrate in areas which already experience higher levels of deprivation, obesity and lower life expectancy. Reshaping these High Streets to be more health-promoting could serve as a tool to help redress this imbalance.”

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