Loneliness is increasingly being prioritised as a public health issue, due to its strong links to illness and premature mortality. Our new article published in Preventive Medicine (open access version here) highlights that older people’s loneliness varies according to their level of wealth: those with the least experience more loneliness than the wealthiest. We found that taking part in formal social activities, such as attending a sport or social club, may help to reduce the gap in loneliness between the poorest and richest older people, especially among men. But wealthier people are on the whole more likely to participate in such activities.
In our latest paper published in Social Science and Medicine we critique the way ‘impact’ is measured within the UK’s Research Excellence Framework* (REF) and in doing so we propose an alternative measurement, one based on enlightenment and process rather than outcomes.
New research published this week in BMC Public Health by the CRESH team, and colleagues in Global Public Health, has found that Scotland’s most deprived neighbourhoods have the highest availability of both tobacco and alcohol outlets. The average density of tobacco outlets rises from 50 per 10,000 population in the least income deprived areas to 100 per 10,000 in the most deprived areas. For alcohol outlets licensed to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises the figures were 25 per 10,000 in the least income deprived areas rising to 53 per 10,000 in the most income deprived areas.
Governments are increasingly recognising the wellbeing of their citizens as a policy priority. But in times of economic difficulty the welfare ‘safety net’ is often reduced, which may adversely affect the wellbeing of those most threatened by financial insecurities. Focusing on social inequalities in wellbeing across different countries – as we do in our latest paper – is therefore crucial.
Here, Jennifer Thomson, a PhD student with CRESH, describes her recent research into whether urban communities benefit from local woodland improvements, and places her important findings into policy context.
The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill stage 3 will be debated today in the Scottish Parliament. Amendments to the bill include a clause, proposed by Dr Richard Simpson (MSP Labour, Mid-Scotland and Fife), to establish a National Register of Alcohol Premise Licenses and Personal Licences. CRESH support this amendment and called for such a register in evidence given by Niamh Shortt to the Local Government and Regeneration Committee.
Today we are launching an interactive webmap that allows users to map tobacco and alcohol outlet density, and related health outcomes, for neighbourhoods (‘datazones‘) across Scotland. The underlying data we have collected and assembled can also be freely downloaded for use. Our research from Scotland shows that outlet density matters for health:
areas with the highest alcohol outlet density have double the death rate of those with the lowest densities (see our blog post, report and infographic)
adolescents living in areas with the highest tobacco outlet density are almost 50% more likely to smoke than those with the lowest (see our blog post, paper and infographic).
ALCOHOL OUTLET DATA UPDATED 25 JUNE 2015: Previous to this date the alcohol outlet density data had used an alternate measure of density than outlets per km2, resulting in values that were typically 30-40% lower than the actual value. Whilst the figures have changed the general picture has not: an area of high density remains an area of high density. The rest of the data are unaffected.