Working in homes, schools and streets to help tackle childhood obesity
All children should have the opportunity to be healthy, no matter where they live. Yet children’s chances of being overweight depend strongly on where they grow up.
The problem is more pronounced in low-income 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.
To meet our goal, we are working in 14 wards that are flooded with unhealthy food and have limited places for children to run and play. By targeting areas with unhealthy food environments, we will engage with more than 60,000 children across our boroughs and reduce the gap in childhood obesity rates between lower-income and more affluent areas by 25%.
We layer different activities and work with a range of organisations – from government and businesses to community groups and residents – to test and run projects that can tackle the issue from many angles.
We also work at different scales to increase the flow of healthy options for children and families. Some levers for change exist locally and some involve national or international partnerships. As a result, we support a range of initiatives from projects in local neighbourhoods all the way to collaborations with multinational businesses.
Finally, we use detailed insights from our work in inner-city London to influence national policy and practice.
We support projects that promote healthy food and exercise in one or several of these interconnected environments where children and families spend their time. The model is based on local evidence, as well as national and international learning from other urban areas.
We have developed a model for our programme which is underpinned by three strands: homes, schools and streets.
As a place-based funder we’re currently investing in a number of projects that could be ripe for national replication – many of which could be funded through existing government funds. These include:
Increasing access to fruit and vegetables with Alexandra Rose Charity, who provide Rose Vouchers which give families on low incomes the opportunity to buy healthier produce from their local market
Creating healthier shopping baskets with The Consumer Goods Forum, bringing an ambitious collaboration together including retailers Tesco and Sainsbury’s, and food manufacturers like Danone, to test ways to move consumers towards healthier shopping baskets
Using investors as a lever for change with ShareAction, engaging pension funds and other major investors to promote healthier food options for consumers
25 November, 2019
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.