It is our overarching plan to improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults in our borough and to reduce health inequalities between the east and west of the borough.
In this section, we summarise some of the factors which contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These will ultimately have a positive effect on improving the health of Haringey residents and help to reduce the health inequalities which are apparent in the borough. We have highlighted some of the overarching considerations which will help to inform decision making about the services we provide to improve health outcomes in Haringey.
Key issues and challenges
- Socio-economic status plays a large role in lifestyle choices amongst Haringey residents with those on lower incomes consuming more fat, processed food, fizzy drinks and less fruit and vegetables
- A large number of fast food outlets are located in the more deprived East of the borough
- Childhood obesity is higher in Haringey compared to England, particularly in 11-12 year old children
- Physical inactivity is also a major area of concern especially in more deprived parts of the borough where physical inactivity levels are some of the lowest in the country
- Although sexual health in the borough is improving, focus on interventions should continue amongst those at highest risk such as young people (under 25 years)
Lifestyle issues in Haringey
Certain lifestyle choices and behaviours such as physical inactivity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and drug misuse are a major concern for public health. In Haringey, there are currently a number of lifestyle choices adopted by residents which contribute to the prevalence of long-term conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in addition to a shorter life expectancy and premature death.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity disproportionately affects the lower socioeconomic and socially disadvantaged groups (particularly women). The Public Health Outcomes Framework  estimates that 55.5% of Haringey adults are overweight or obese. The prevalence of those overweight is higher for men than women, whilst obesity is more prevalent in women. Obesity is also a concern for children in Haringey. In the school year 2014/15, the National Childhood Measurement Programme  showed that 23% of children in reception and 37% in year 6 were either overweight or obese, and 11% and 23%, respectively, were obese.
Obesity is also linked to ethnicity. For year 6 children in the 2014/2015 school year , overweight and obesity is most prevalent in Irish and African ethnic groups at 34% and 32% respectively. This is compared to just 16% for White British year 6 children. This reflects similar figures for adult Black and Minority ethnic groups (BME). Haringey has a very diverse ethnic profile, with a large proportion of BME groups. This is another factor which will contribute to the prevalence of obesity in the borough and must also be considered for commissioning of services in relation to need.
Alcohol misuse is associated with a number of health-related problems including: hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancers, liver disease, mental and behavioural disorders, alcohol poisoning, accidental injuries, road traffic accidents, violence and premature death. Alcohol also has a significant social impact including alcohol-related crime, anti-social behaviour such as street drinking, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, loss of workplace productivity and homelessness. In Haringey, as in the rest of England, alcohol-related hospital admission rates are rising rapidly. In 2013/2014, hospital admission rates for alcohol-related conditions were 663 per 100,000, considerably higher than the London average of just 541 per 100,000 . Between 2012 and 2014, Haringey had an alcohol-specific mortality rate above the London average at 9.5 per 100,000. This figure is significantly greater for males (13.8 per 100,000) than females (5.5 per 100,000) .
Smoking prevalence in Haringey is unacceptably high and it is a major reason for Haringey’s health inequalities and life expectancy gap. Smoking can contribute towards the development of many diseases, but is most commonly linked with coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. For those who smoke, quitting is often the single most effective thing they can do to improve health and prevent illness.
In fact, smoking and tobacco consumption is the UK’s greatest cause of preventable illness, disability, early death and health inequalities. Greater health gains would be achieved by stopping all smoking than from a 50% increase to the NHS budget . In Haringey, 20.7% of persons aged 18 and over smoke, which is higher than both the London (17%) and England (18%) averages. There is a considerably higher prevalence of smoking for those in routine and manual labour at 39.1%. This is the second highest figure in London and is considerably higher than the England average (28%) .
Levels of physical activity in Haringey vary across the borough. The overall physical activity in adults in Haringey is higher than the England and London average, at 59.1% . However, PHE's Haringey Health Profile 2015 (PDF, 856KB) suggests that some parts of the borough that have residents on a lower income are some of the least physically active parts of the country. Low levels of physical activity are also observed in people with long-term conditions, disabilities and mental illness.
Sexual health and teenage pregnancy rates in Haringey are improving rapidly. Teenage pregnancy rates (at 20.9 per 1,000) have now fallen below the London (21.8 per 1,000) and England (24.3 per 1,000) averages . Sexually transmitted infections are also on decrease and as of 2014, Haringey moved out of the worst 25th percentile for London authorities . However, good work still needs to continue, focusing particularly on young people (under 25 years of age) and specific community groups that are at higher risk (such as Black African and Caribbean, men having sex with men). Although more people are now being tested for HIV infection, our focus should be on detecting HIV infections early as this would significantly improve treatment success.
- Raise the profile of the importance of healthy eating/physical activity in achieving/maintaining a healthy weight amongst the general population using a range of social media channels, in a culturally appropriate manner
- Haringey has open space assets evenly distributed across the borough. Explore opportunities of utilising open spaces to make ‘safe play areas’, open gyms and other opportunities for play and physical activities
- Commission brief intervention and healthy lifestyle training for a range of frontline staff
- Increase early identification of alcohol problems by commissioning a training programme for staff who may be in contact with people with alcohol issues e.g. safeguarding staff, domestic violence staff
- Ensure that alcohol continues to be an integral part of the NHS Health Checks Programme
- Improve the quality, accessibility and capacity of the service to support people from target groups to stop smoking. Focus on those with long term conditions, lower socio-economic groups and those in routine or manual labour. It is important to work with partners to actively market this service within target communities to reduce smoking related inequalities. The service will be monitored against Key Performance Indicators.
- Support work place programmes as part of a healthy workplace initiative, including smoking cessation clinics, awareness raising and smoke free workplace policies.
Related needs assessments and information
- Needs Assessment - Learning disabilities, substance misuse and sexual health (PPT, 122KB)
- Increasing the uptake of HIV testing - A PHE Health Matters informative guide to HIV testing (PDF, 300KB)
 (PHOF, 2015)
 (NCMP, 2015)
 (Mayhew, 2010)
Page Last Updated:
How can we improve this page?
Use this form to let us know what you think of this page. All comments are reviewed by us once every week.
This form is not for service issues or requests - all such comments should go to Customer Services.
* = response required