Do you often shop in ‘unhealthy’ locales as opposed to the ‘healthy’ retail stores? You may be at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, warns a new study. The researchers used Pop-up health check stations in England to find a possible link between ‘unhealthy’ shopping centres and the number of cases of high blood pressure (suspected or diagnosed).
Retail outlets were classified as ‘unhealthy’ if they either had a fast-food takeaway, a bookmaker, a tanning salon or happen to have a payday loan business.
The researchers found 72 per cent of those frequenting ‘unhealthy’ shopping centres with high BP.
“The least healthy shopping centres are all within some of the most socially-deprived areas of the country, so the results of this study exemplify the stark health inequalities that are entrenched across the UK,” said Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health.
For the study, the team from City, University of London set up the one day Pop-Up health check stations in seven shopping centres across England.
Blood pressure readings were offered 50 per cent of the time to attract potential volunteers with a more comprehensive and familiar health screening.
The findings revealed that the difference in the proportion of readings of high blood pressure was also a significant marker in drawing conclusions. The data suggested a 72 per cent increased likelihood of suspected or diagnosed high blood pressure in an ‘unhealthy’ shopping centre relative to a ‘healthy’ shopping centre.
“The British Heart Foundation also recently called for NHS health staff to take blood pressure checks at gyms, barbershops and football stadiums and offer blood pressure checks in the workplace,” said David Crabb, Professor of Statistics and Vision Research who led the research team.
“In our study, over half of those recorded as having high blood pressure were aware of having the condition or reported a history of high blood pressure,” said the team in a paper published in the journal BMC Public Health.
Foods To Manage Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is defined as a condition where the force of blood against the arterial walls is abnormally high. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure could also raise risk of stroke or death. Your diet is a major component of high blood pressure management. If you have high blood pressure, you should refrain from eating excessively salty or fried foods as they would obstruct the smooth blood flow and further result in elevated blood pressure. You should have a healthy and balanced diet rich in seasonal veggies, fruits and nuts. Make sure your diet is rich in potassium. Potassium negates the ill-effects of sodium. Here are some potassium-rich foods you can add to your diet.
- Sweet potato
Include these foods to your high blood pressure diet and see the results yourself.
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