Working in homes, schools and streets to help tackle childhood obesity
Over 40 million children under five around the world are overweight or obese.
In the UK, one in 10 children start school obese. That’s enough to fill London’s Olympic Stadium four times over.
The problem is more pronounced in deprived areas. There is a clear link between an area’s average income and obesity. Five-year-olds from the poorest income groups are twice as likely to be obese compared to their most well-off counterparts. By age 11, they are three times more likely.
Our programme pays particular attention to this difference between the rates in poorer and wealthier areas. Working in our place, the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, we want to close this ‘obesity deprivation gap’. We’re layering up activities, working with many organisations, community groups and residents to test and run projects that encourage healthy eating and physical activity in the places children and families spend their time. We want to help tackle the high rates of child obesity locally, and to learn lessons that others may replicate elsewhere.
Learning from international, national and local evidence we have developed a model to organise our work across three main strands – Home, School and Street. Through these strands, we back projects that impact on one or several of these interconnected environments where children and families spend much of their time.
Our programme layers up projects in these three settings to create environments that promote healthier food and exercise and discourage unhealthy choices.
Child obesity is a complex issue, but we believe that progress is possible. In order to see real impact, we are taking a long-term perspective.
We aim to close the 'obesity deprivation gap' between the most deprived and least deprived wards in Lambeth and Southwark over the next ten years. Our theory is that we will effect greater change by focusing on environments that children and their families spend their time in, and running a mix of activities relating to diet and exercise, and working with people and organisations from all sectors.
Alongside supporting projects to drive impact on the ground, we also work to influence policy at a local and national level to help further the ambitious change we want to see through our programme.
We are now delivering our multi-year programme. After exploring the current evidence around the issue and testing ideas with our partners through small projects, we are supporting a mix of large and small-scale activities. Find out more.
02 May, 2019
As an urban health foundation, we explore how living in cities impacts on people’s health and wellbeing. We use our own insights and learn from others, identifying what works to inform practice and policy.
30 April, 2019
Our Neighbourhood Schemes focus on driving change around a health issue within a small geography or defined community, targeting the issue from many angles.
31 July, 2018
A partnership taking action to change the environments in the capital that promote poor nutrition and little movement