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The Social Need

For Boots & Beards to maximise its impact it has to continue to improve its understanding of the complex challenges faced by the BAME community.

1) BAME Community - Health & fitness stats in Scotland / Glasgow

There is evidence to suggest that BAME demographics have lower overall quality of health when compared with other ethnic groups. On average, 52% of BAME adults in Glasgow were overweight, increasing to over 70% for BAME adults over the age of 35 (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, 2017). 

Stats showing ratio of weight by ethnic group

86% of BAME adults in Glasgow exhibited at least one unhealthy behaviour (i.e. smoking, high BMI, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, binge drinking), with over half of all BAME adults exhibiting two or more unhealthy behaviours (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, 2017). 

71% of BAME adults in Glasgow met recommended physical activity levels (over 150 minutes activity per week). Out of all BAME groups, physical activity was lowest in the Indian ethnic group, with only 40% of all adults in this group meeting recommended physical activity levels. 

chart showing number of unhealthy behaviours in BAME groups

2) Mental health, anxiety & depression rates in BAME people in Scotland/Glasgow

Recent research has shown that BAME demographics are less likely to access mental health support in primary care (i.e. through their GP) and more likely to end up crisis care as a result (Bignall et al., 2019). Moreover, BAME individuals are more 40% more likely to access mental health services via the criminal justice system than white demographics (Bignall et al., 2019). BAME groups are more likely to suffer from chronic pain than white ethnic groups and this chronic pain was more likely to lead to depression among BAME groups when compared with white ethnic groups (Nicholl et al., 2015). The COVID-19 pandemic has had a notable impact on the mental health of BAME demographics, with a 25% increase in metal distress in Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, higher than any other ethnic groups (Proto & Quintana-Domeque, 2021). Furthermore, an average of 7% of the BAME population in Glasgow lived alone, with BAME men being twice as likely to live alone that BAME women (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, 2017). 13% of African people in Glasgow lived alone, the highest percentage out of all BAME groups (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, 2017). 

chart showing percentage of glasgow residents who live alone

3) Social barriers BAME people face living in Scotland/Glasgow

There are a variety of social and economic factors affecting BAME demographics in the Glasgow area. BAME groups are four times as likely to live in overcrowded homes when compared with other ethnic groups in Glasgow (Lyle, 2017). Incidence of poverty is also higher amongst BAME communities, being twice as likely to experience some form of poverty when compared with white communities (Lyle, 2017). BAME individuals face unemployment at double the levels of white communities, with only 2% of the BAME population in Glasgow working with the City Council –despite BAME demographics comprising 12% of the total Glasgow population (Lyle, 2017).

There is also evidence to suggest that barriers to accessing health and wellbeing services are prevalent among BAME communities. Koshoedo et al. outlined in their research that perceived fear of racial or religious discrimination prevented BAME groups from engaging in physical activity in the UK (2015). Moreover, a recent study has demonstrated that BAME groups will refrain from accessing health enabling resources (such as gyms and outdoor exercise facilities) due to the costs associated  with access and due to feeling out place in gyms or exercise facilities (Kapilashrami & Marsden, 2018). Club and social group membership among BAME individuals is lower than the average for Glasgow adults (18 % vs. 21%), with membership even lower for specific BAME groups (Glasgow City HSCP, 2020). 

chart showing group/club membership - glasgowchart showing club/social group membership by ethnic group

4) Medical issues that BAME people are prone to in Scotland/Glasgow

South Asian ethnic groups are more likely to develop coronary heart disease than white Europeans (British Heart Foundation, 2021). Moreover, Bangladeshi and Pakistani men and women are more likely to be admitted to hospital for coronary heart disease when compared with other ethnic groups (Katikireddi et al., 2018). Research has demonstrated that South Asian ethnic groups in Scotland had higher avoidable hospital admissions when compared with the white Scottish group, with avoidable hospital admissions highest amongst Pakistani groups (Katikireddi et al., 2018). While the incidences of long-term limiting health problems or disabilities within BAME groups is generally lower than white Scottish demographic, Pakistani men in Scotland were more likely to have a long-term limiting health problem or disability when compared with white Scottish males (The Scottish Government, 2015).  


Bignall, T., Jeraj, S., Helsby, E. and Butt, J. (2019). Racial disparities in mental health: Literature and evidence review. [online] . Available at: https://raceequalityfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/mental-health-report-v5-2.pdf [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

British Heart Foundation (2021). Ethnicity. [online] www.bhf.org.uk. Available at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/risk-factors/ethnicity [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

Glasgow City HSCP (2020). Glasgow City Health & Social Care Partnership Demographics Profile. [online] . Available at: https://glasgowcity.hscp.scot/sites/default/files/publications/2020%20HSCP%20Demographics%20Profile.pdf [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

Kapilashrami, A. and Marsden, S. (2018). Examining intersectional inequalities in access to health (enabling) resources in disadvantaged communities in Scotland: advancing the participatory paradigm. International Journal for Equity in Health, [online] 17(1). Available at: https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12939-018-0797-x.pdf [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

Katikireddi, S.V., Cezard, G., Bhopal, R.S., Williams, L., Douglas, A., Millard, A., Steiner, M., Buchanan, D., Sheikh, A. and Gruer, L. (2018). Assessment of health care, hospital admissions, and mortality by ethnicity: population-based cohort study of health-system performance in Scotland. The Lancet Public Health, [online] 3(5), p. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30068-9 [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

Koshoedo, S.A., Paul-Ebhohimhen, V.A., Jepson, R.G. and Watson, M.C. (2015). Understanding the complex interplay of barriers to physical activity amongst black and minority ethnic groups in the United Kingdom: a qualitative synthesis using meta-ethnography. BMC Public Health, [online] 15(1). Available at: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-015-1893-0 [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

Lyle, K. and Scottish Government (2017). Addressing Race Inequality in Scotland: The Way Forward. [online] . Available at: https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/independent-report/2017/12/addressing-race-inequality-scotland-way-forward/documents/00528756-pdf/00528756-pdf/govscot%3Adocument/00528756.pdf?forceDownload=true [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (2017). Black and Minority Ethnic Health and Wellbeing Study in Glasgow, 2016. [online] Available at: https://www.stor.scot.nhs.uk/bitstream/handle/11289/579514/nhsggc_ph_black_minority_ethnic_health_wellbeing_study_glasgow_2016-04.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

Nicholl, B.I., Smith, D.J., Cullen, B., Mackay, D., Evans, J., Anderson, J., Lyall, D.M., Fawns-Ritchie, C., McIntosh, A.M., Deary, I.J., Pell, J.P. and Mair, F.S. (2015). Ethnic differences in the association between depression and chronic pain: cross sectional results from UK Biobank. BMC Family Practice, [online] 16(1). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4596418/ [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

Proto, E. and Quintana-Domeque, C. (2021). COVID-19 and mental health deterioration by ethnicity and gender in the UK. PLOS ONE, [online] 16(1), p. Available at: http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/228109/1/228109.pdf [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

The Scottish Government (2015). Which ethnic groups have the poorest health? An analysis of health inequality and ethnicity in Scotland. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/statistics/2015/08/ethnic-groups-poorest-health/documents/analysis-health-inequality-ethnicity-scotland/analysis-health-inequality-ethnicity-scotland/govscot%3Adocument/00484303.pdf?forceDownload=true [Accessed 23 Apr. 2021].

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