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Peterborough revealed as ‘least healthy area in the UK’

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Peterborough has been revealed as the least healthy area in the UK.

New research by health and wellness experts – using data that originated from The Office for National Statistics – confirm the finding.

Peterborough has been revealed as the least healthy area in the UK.

Peterborough has been revealed as the least healthy area in the UK.
Picture by Terry Harris.

The rankings were based on an analysis of 12 distinct criteria: air quality (PM2.5 concentration), adult smoking rates, alcohol misuse, the prevalence of cancer, diabetes, drug misuse, healthy eating habits, high blood pressure, kidney and liver diseases, adults with mental health problems, obesity rates, and physical activity levels.


For each criterion, assigned a score up to 100. These scores were subsequently combined and adjusted, producing a final score for each area.

“The results revealed that Peterborough was the least healthy area in 2023, scoring 40 out of 100,” said a spokesperson for bluehorizonbloodtests.

Peterborough (Score: 40) – how the results were broken down.

Besides poor air quality (PM2.5 at 7), it witnesses a 28.7% cancer self-report rate.

Nearly 60.7% of its population have a BMI classified as overweight or obese.

The study assessed various UK local authorities, government districts, boroughs, and counties.

South Hams emerged as the healthiest area in the UK for 2023, securing a stellar score of 80 out of 100.

South Hams is located on the south coast of Devon, South Hams and ranks as the study’s healthiest area.

It has a final score of 80 due in part to excellent scores across categories, including the number of people who self-reported having diabetes (4.2%), cancer (2.6%), and kidney or liver diseases (1.1%).

Those in South Hams also have higher activity rates, with 76.3% of adults staying physically active.

Key Findings: 

  • Air Quality: Cleaner air regions like South Lakeland and Eden have commendably low PM2.5 concentrations, suggesting air quality might significantly influence overall health.
  • Smoking’s Limited Impact: Sevenoaks, despite its low 4.8% adult smoking rate, ranks 8th, showing that low smoking alone doesn’t guarantee top health rankings.
  • Dietary Habits: High fruit and vegetable consumption in South Hams and Derbyshire Dales possibly contributes to their top health standings.
  • Mental Health’s Nuanced Role: Richmond upon Thames ranks 7th healthiest despite a relatively high 8.3% of its population reporting mental health conditions.
  • Importance of Physical Activity: Nearly all top areas, led by South Hams at 76.3%, highlight the crucial role of physical activity in health.
  • Obesity’s Widespread Grip: Even in the top-ranking South Hams, 50.8% of the population is overweight or obese, indicating a broader national health concern.


 20 Least Healthiest Areas in the UK 2023

Peterborough (Score: 40)

Besides poor air quality (PM2.5 at 7), it witnesses a 28.7% cancer self-report rate. Nearly 60.7% of its population have a BMI classified as overweight or obese.

Gosport (Score: 50.9) 

High alcohol-specific hospitalizations at 765.7/100k pairs with a significant diabetes rate of 35.4%. Despite these, 59.3% manage to consume the recommended fruit and vegetables.

Portsmouth (Score: 52.1)

Alarming alcohol-related hospitalizations stand at 990.5/100k, yet its 65.4% overweight rate is still below many others on this list.

Liverpool (Score: 52.6)

17.8% of adults smoke, with a high drug-related offense rate at 14.3/1k. Its overweight rate sits at 65.9%.

Kingston upon Hull (Score: 53.5)

22% adult smokers, with alcohol admissions at 858.3/100k and a 70.7% overweight rate.

Knowsley (Score: 54.4)

High PM2.5 levels at 8.1; alarming 74% overweight or obese statistic, and a drug-related offense rate of 8.6/1k.

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Gloucester (Score: 54.8)

19.4% of adults smoke. High figures for diabetes (18.8%) and high blood pressure (31.3%).

Blackpool (Score: 55.2)

Notably, high alcohol-related hospitalizations at 1282/100k. Nutrition seems to be an issue, with only 44.7% eating recommended fruit and vegetables.

Nottingham (Score: 55.9)

High 53.1% of people reporting mental health conditions. Drug misuse stands at 6.6/1k.

Great Yarmouth (Score: 56.5)

Significant alcohol admissions at 622.8/100k and an 18.5% diabetes rate.

Harlow (Score: 56.8)

A high % smoking rate of 20.5% paired with a 73.5% overweight or obese population.

Lancaster (Score: 57.1)

Strikingly high diabetes rate of 46.9%. 66.1% are overweight or obese.

Hammersmith and Fulham (Score: 57.6)

The PM2.5 level is at 9.1. About 49.4% of its population report mental health conditions. Physical activity is higher, with 74.5% being active.

Southampton (Score: 57.8)

Records an astounding 2,275.8/100k alcohol-related hospitalizations.

Hartlepool (Score: 57.9)

Only 51.3% of adults are physically active, which may contribute to the 74.6% overweight or obese rate.

Melton (Score: 58.1)

Notable cancer rate at 12.5%. 56.4% report high blood pressure and 60.6% consume recommended fruits and vegetables.

York (Score: 58.1)

49.8% of its residents report mental health issues, and high blood pressure is prevalent at 53.6%.

Telford and Wrekin (Score: 58.2)

A considerable number of people with cancer at 7.1%. 70.6% of its population are overweight or obese.

Sandwell (Score: 58.9)

Drug misuse at 2.3/1k. 70.8% of its population is overweight, and only 47.4% eat the recommended fruits and vegetables.

Mansfield (Score: 59.1)

Alcohol hospitalizations are at 705.6 per 100,000, and 67.6% of its population are overweight or obese.





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