UK

'Unhealthiest' High Streets: Your views

Image copyright Martin Rickett/PA

Which high streets are good for you? A new study by the Royal Society for Public Health ranked 70 towns and cities according to how many high street business have a "negative" impact on health, or help to promote it. Here are some of your views on the study:

Ellen Hackett, from Northampton

The report is flawed. Northampton town centre has a library, shops, restaurants, coffee shops, a loan shop and a fish and chips shop. A couple of fast food shops and a bookmaker hardly make it unhealthy. We have a daily outdoor market, a theatre, an art house cinema and a street full of unique individual shops. Northampton is considered as a town strong enough to recover from the recent recession. Without knowing the criteria upon which the results are based, such reports are sensationalist and meaningless.

Jon Combe, from Woking in Surrey

Why should there be a limit on businesses of a certain type? If people are not using them, they won't make money and they'll close. If people are using them, then what is the problem? Would they rather have rows of empty shops? It seems to me that more busybodies are deciding what they think people should buy or not buy.

Barry Bridgen in Lancashire

Oh dear, the nanny state at its most ridiculous. If you want to stop this type of garbage, stop big supermarket chains from decimating the town centre.

Town planners are the problem and it benefits out-of-town developments. Our consumer-based society's short-sightedness is also a problem.

Why are all the shops closing down? Because you buy online! Why are there only take-away shops in the high street? Because you're too busy to cook!

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Graeme from Eastbourne

I live in Eastbourne. I am surprised to find us on the wrong end of the list. I am also very curious as to which street in all those large towns they have deemed to be the high street. I have been to many towns that have streets with far more so-called unhealthy businesses in them than Eastbourne high street. It is a very unhelpful and misleading survey.

Scot from Huddersfield

I live in Huddersfield. Yes, there are lots of 'unhealthy' businesses. However, I have family in one of the Scottish 'healthy' towns. It is pretty much the same. It is rather run down.

There are plenty of charity shops and £1 stores. I don't think the comparison is fair at all. Are these shops - charity shops and £1 shops - included in this survey? As we all know, the high street is in a decline across the UK.

Jackie from Grimsby, Lincolnshire

I have been travelling over the world for the last four years and every time I return to my hometown I have become more disillusioned about our once-thriving high street. I was delighted when smoking was banned in public places, but unfortunately this has brought smokers onto the public high street. Why? Because the council have allowed it!

We, the shoppers, have to be confronted by drinkers and loud smokers outside local public houses on a daily basis. They are bringing the town down. Last Christmas I witnessed a fight on the high street. Fighters were under the influence of alcohol or other substance. Deprivation was evident. Our high street could be changed into a delightful place but it's littered with pubs and betting shops.

Christopher Mason from Ashford, Kent

I was astounded to find Ashford - my hometown - was not listed. We need to get rid of junk shops that sell fatty foods such as burgers, Chinese and Indian takeaways.

Jonah from Middlesbrough

No wonder that Middlesbrough is second on the list of un-healthiest high streets. The councillors on the planning committee are always too keen to allow yet another take-away shop to be opened and not a week goes by without one being closed down for health and safety reasons. Why do we claim to be aiming for a healthier lifestyle here in Middlesbrough when so many food outlets like this are allowed to open? A local shop in the poor area of the city told me they sell out of ready-made food and sandwiches every morning. Most of their customers are children going to school. For some children, it is their breakfast.

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