From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

The Location and Social Distribution of Amenities and Services in Glasgow City

An important issue for urban planning, and for studying within-city differences in health and health related behaviours, is the extent to which amenities and facilities for everyday living are distributed equitably across different neighbourhoods, or whether they tend to be concentrated in more affluent or deprived neighbourhoods. We have been collecting information on housing, health services, leisure facilities, crime and policing, education, shops, local services such as post offices and banks, employment and unemployment, transport, political climate, civic engagement and social capital within Glasgow City using a wide variety of sources. We have mapped the location of these resources (e.g. bus stops, parks, and playgrounds) in relation to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation to see whether area deprivation is likely to compound individual disadvantage. We are exploring whether there are relationships between proximity to certain types of amenity or facility and health behaviours, for example, distance to alcohol outlets and alcohol consumption, distance to food retailers and diet, distance to green space and physical activity etc.

Access to affordable, nutritious food may be an important determinant of a healthy diet. We have explored the location of different types of retail food outlets (multiple chain supermarkets, and convenience, specialist and discount stores, restaurants and fast food stores) in Glasgow, and have also studied the price and availability of a basket of every day foodstuffs.
We are collaborating on a study funded by the National Institutes of Health Public Health Research Programme to evaluate, via a randomised controlled trial, the convenience store ‘Change4life’ intervention.  This has been developed by the Department of Health in collaboration with the Association of Convenience Stores in England, and involves local convenience stores being given encouragement, advice and resources to develop their ability to sell fruit and vegetables. The project is being led by Martin White at the University of Newcastle



Ellaway A, Emslie C. Connecting gender, space and place: are there gender differences in the relationships between the social environment and health-related behaviours?. In: Stock C, Ellaway A, editors Neighbourhood structure and health promotion. New York: Springer, 2013:335-346.

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Ellaway A, Macdonald L, Lamb K, Thornton L, Day P, Pearce J. Do obesity-promoting food environments cluster around socially disadvantaged schools in Glasgow, Scotland?. Health & Place 2012;18:1335-40

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Thornton LE, Pearce JR, Macdonald L, Lamb KE, Ellaway A. Does the choice of neighbourhood supermarket access measure influence associations with individual-level fruit and vegetable consumption? A case study from Glasgow. International Journal of Health Geographics 2012;11:29

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Macdonald L, Ellaway A, Ball K, Macintyre S. Is proximity to a food retail store associated with diet and BMI in Glasgow, Scotland?. BMC Public Health 2011;11:464

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Ellaway A, Macdonald L, Forsyth A, Macintyre S. The socio-spatial distribution of alcohol outlets in Glasgow City. Health & Place 2010;16:167-72

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Cummins S, Macintyre S. Are secondary data sources on the neighbourhood food environment accurate? Case-study in Glasgow, UK. Preventive Medicine 2009;49:527-8

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Macdonald L, Ellaway A, Macintyre S. The food retail environment and area deprivation in Glasgow City. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2009;6:52

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Macintyre S, MacDonald L, Ellaway A. Do poorer people have poorer access to local resources and facilities? The distribution of local resources by area deprivation in Glasgow, Scotland. Social Science & Medicine 2008;67:900-14

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Ellaway A, Macintyre S, Mutrie N, Kirk A. Nowhere to play? The relationship between the location of outdoor play areas and deprivation in Glasgow. Health & Place 2007;13:557-561

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Macdonald L, Cummins S, Macintyre S. Neighbourhood fast food environment and area deprivation: substitution or concentration?. Appetite 2007;49:251-4

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Macintyre S. Deprivation amplification revisited: or, is it always true that poorer places have poorer access to resources for healthy diets and physical activity?. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2007;4:32

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Cummins S, Macintyre S. Food environments and obesity: neighbourhood or nation?. International Journal of Epidemiology 2006;35:100-104.

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Cummins S C, McKay L, Macintyre S. McDonald's restaurants and neighborhood deprivation in Scotland and England. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2005;29:308-310

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Macintyre S, McKay L, Cummins S, Burns C. Out-of-home food outlets and area deprivation: case study in Glasgow, UK. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2005;2:16

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Cummins S. The local food environment and health: some reflections from the UK [letter]. American Journal of Public Health 2003;93ID - 2321:521


Cummins S, Macintyre S. A systematic study of an urban foodscape: the price and availability of food in Greater Glasgow. Urban Studies 2002;39:2115-2130

Cummins S, Macintyre S. Food 'deserts': evidence and assumption in health policy making. BMJ 2002;325:436-438

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Cummins S, Macintyre S. The location of food stores in urban areas: a case study in Glasgow. British Food Journal 1999;101:545 - 553


Macintyre S, MacIver S, Sooman A. Area, class and health: should we be focusing on places or people?. Journal of Social Policy 1993;22:213-234

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