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Fast food-free zones and dementia-friendly streets for new healthy homes


NHS England is backing plans to build ‘healthy’ towns to tackle the problems of childhood obesity and dementia.

By getting involved in the build of 10 new towns, which will provide 76,000 homes across the UK, the NHS helps to shape the health of the nation and set a standard to follow.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: ‘We want children to have places where they want to play with friends and can safely walk or cycle to school — rather than just exercising their fingers on video games’.

The plan is also for the homes to be more age-friendly, as they will be adapted to encourage independent living for as long as possible.

Clinicians, designers and technology experts will come together to come up with a plan to create environments that promote healthier lifestyles and generally help people to live well into older age. For example, as well as ensuring fast food-free zones close to schools (while this has been tried before, it has been hampered by having to close down existing businesses, with the new towns this ceases to be a problem), the idea is to have ‘dementia-friendly’ streets with wider pavements and moving LCD signs, which are believed to help people with disease find their way more easily. There will also be easier access to public transport and pedestrian and cycle ways.

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Photo credit: Frank Vincentz, commons wikimedia 

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