It’s official – Devon is the healthiest place to live in the whole of the UK.
That’s according to an analysis by researchers at the University of Liverpool, which revealed the healthiest and unhealthiest places to live in the country.
The analysis looked at levels of air pollution, access to various amenities such as fast food outlets or pubs, and proximity to health services including GPs, parks and recreational spaces.
It looked at lower layer super output areas – areas used by statisticians with populations of roughly 1,500.
As we revealed last week, the healthiest place to live was Great Torrington in North Devon.
(Image: Lewis Clarke)
The small market town has low levels of pollution, good access to parks and green space, few retail outlets that may encourage poor health-related behaviours, and good access to health services.
The research showed that an area in Witheridge Ward, North Devon was the unhealthiest place to live in Devon.
The worst areas in our county for air quality were all in Plymouth.
The study also looked at areas with the easiest access retail outlets that may encourage poor health-related behaviours, such as pubs, betting shops and fast food outlets.
It found that the worst area in Devon was Exmouth, followed by Teignmouth East and Ilfracombe.
Looking nationally, London is home to six of the top 10 unhealthiest places to live.
That includes parts of Hackney, Camden and Soho.
They were found to have the greatest access to unhealthy opportunities such as takeaways, pubs and off licenses, along with high levels of air pollution and low levels of parks and green spaces.
Liverpool senior lecturer in health geography, Dr Mark Green, who undertook the study, said: “The statistics reveal important insights about the concentration of certain amenities that may be damaging or promote health.
“For example, on average, individuals in Great Britain are just as close to a pub or bar, as they are to their nearest GP (1.1 km).
“We also found that 42 per cent of people are within 1 km (or a few minutes’ drive time) of their nearest gambling outlet. These statistics reveal troubling issues with the neighbourhoods we live in and how they may be damaging to our health.”
Professor Alex Singleton, Deputy Director of the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC), said: “Our study found that access was not evenly spread across Great Britain – rural areas have poorer access to many health services, and those services which are seen as damaging to health are often concentrated in poorer areas.
“For example, 62 per cent of people who live in the 10 per cent most deprived areas are within 1 km of a fast food outlet compared to 24 per cent in the 10 per cent least deprived areas.”