Qualitatively Investigating Factors Contributing to Poor Health and Influencing Unhealthy Behaviour Uptake in Deprived Areas within the UK

James Stockton, Sun Chong Lui, Jamie Halsall, Nadege Ndzogoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Understanding determinants affecting poor health outcomes and influencing unhealthy behaviours within deprived areas, is becoming increasingly common. This study was to investigate the participants’ Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) behaviours; their attitudes, thoughts and experiences and the association with the Social Ecological Model (SEM) [1] which could influence health behaviours.


Data collection occurred in Barnsley an area with high levels of deprivation and health disparities. Information was gathered 97 participants across focus groups and one-to-one interviews. Questions were formulated around HEAL and SEM and questioned origin and maintenance of modifiable behaviours affecting physical activity, diet, and long-term behaviour. Deductive Thematic Analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2019) was used to analyse data.


Four themes were identified: healthy eating and sensible drinking awareness, unhealthy food and alcohol consumption affected by outlets density, environmental impact upon mental health, and attitudes towards government interventions. SEM examined the effectiveness of community level interventions whilst considering the individual responsibility associated with HEAL.

Within research area, attitudes towards HEAL are deeply impacting participants, many of these attitudes originate from childhood being transferred from parents. This transference may explain why many deprived areas within England suffer from worse health outcomes, as inherited beliefs result in negative HEAL behavior manifesting in long term health problems. National interventions provided good information; but were hampered by a lack of effective dissemination to the general population. Local interventions often had more success in effectively engaging local people, but participants reported frequent shuttering of local interventions due to funding issues.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Number of pages9
JournalDiscover Social Science and Health
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Qualitatively Investigating Factors Contributing to Poor Health and Influencing Unhealthy Behaviour Uptake in Deprived Areas within the UK'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this