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Cutting back on the cost of obesity

Obesity is a huge problem in the UK. In Birmingham, 29% of the adult population and 25% of 11–12 year olds are obese.

This costs the city’s NHS® £330 million a year. Lost earnings due to early death or sickness gross £2.6 billion. The public health team used vital Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) data to:

  • Plot schools, youth facilities and leisure centres on an interactive digital map.
  • Expose fish and chip shops, pizza, kebab or Chinese takeaways within a 400m perimeter of 71% of primary and secondary schools.
  • Stop the spread of more unhealthy fast food stores and stalls around schools.
  • Share geographic data to encourage collaborative working towards better health.

The PSMA includes datasets like OS Street View® used in this case. You too can clearly see, understand and make the best of your assets.

"While the determinants of obesity are complex and interrelated, social and environmental factors clearly have an influence. The city has a large number of hot-food takeaways close to schools and local centres. The use of maps helps us to accurately describe where they are located and to tackle their spread."

Dr Iris Fermin, Head of Public Health Information and Intelligence
Birmingham Public Health

The products used

Download this case study PDF – 923kB


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Healthcare organisations like NHS Kent and Medway are improving the planning and redesign of their services via a web-enabled evidence-based application built around accurate geographic information.

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