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Health and Wellbeing

There are a number of factors that affect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. The World Health Organisation highlights that where we live, the state of our environment, genetics, our income and education level, and our relationships with friends and family all have considerable impacts on our health.

Our research uses consumer data to explore how the physical environment we live in influences our behaviours, and how this affects our health and wellbeing

The Obesity Network – uniting expertise to inform positive change

Overweight and obesity persist in the UK and place both personal and economic strain on society. The strong association of excess weight with other chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease further increase this burden.

The Obesity Network brings together experts from all over the UK, and beyond, from a range of disciplines in academia, retail, local government and charities to explore and generate ideas to make best use of the wealth of data to inform positive change.

Could loyalty cards improve our public health? LifeInfo Survey

The use of supermarket loyalty cards and mobile phone apps tracking diet or exercise are increasingly pervasive. Not only do they provide a useful service for the user but they also gather information about the habits of individuals.

What if all that data could also be used to feed into public health research that could improve the overall health of the community?

The LifeInfo survey, led by CDRC’s Dr Michelle Morris in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, surveyed 10,000 people about the types of loyalty card or apps they use, and their thoughts on allowing health researchers to access this information and link it with their health records, in the future.

What does supermarket loyalty card data reveal about food purchase behaviours?

Supermarkets gather loyalty card data for marketing purposes but these novel data sources offer great potential for research and policy making. This project, in partnership with Sainsbury’s, explore the use of transaction data to understand the food purchasing behaviours of our population.

Supermarket loyalty card transaction records, linked to back of pack nutrient information, present a novel opportunity to use objective records of food purchases to assess diet at a household level. With a large sample size and multiple transactions, it is possible to review variation in food purchases over time and across different geographical areas.

Why Great Britain’s rural areas may not be as healthy as we think

Research by the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) produced the most detailed investigation into the features of neighborhoods that impact health across the whole of Great Britain.

The interactive map includes a variety of measures of accessibility to environment features such as retails outlets that may be bad for their health (e.g. fast food outlets, pubs, gambling outlets), health services (e.g. GPs, hospitals, dentists) and overall environmental quality (e.g. air quality, green space).

All of these information have also been summarised into the ‘Access to Healthy Assets & Hazards’ (AHAH) index which identifies how ‘healthy’ a neighbourhood is based on this information.

Working together to tackle health inequalities and improve the health of the public – SIPHER Consortium

The conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age are key drivers of health and health inequalities. Preventing ill health related to these “social determinants of health” requires well-coordinated policies across many sectors, such as the economy, welfare, housing, education and employment.

A number of our Urban Analytics researchers from Leeds are part of the SIPHER consortium, which is working to deliver novel evidence of the costs and benefits of the complex, interlinked and long-term consequences of policy decisions.

Classifying consumer vulnerability in the UK

Some consumers are more vulnerable to marketing practices due to their personal traits such as age, health or household arrangements. For this project consumer vulnerability is defined as the risk that a consumer’s mental, physical or financial welfare may be damaged when engaging in a market interaction.

While consumer vulnerability has been discussed at length in academic literature and regulatory guidelines, there has not been a comprehensive geographical assessment of consumer vulnerability in the United Kingdom. This project utilised data from the Consumer Data Research Centre to create a geodemographic classification of consumer vulnerability at output area level.