Working in homes, schools and streets to help tackle childhood obesity
Over 40 million children under five worldwide 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 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.
Our programme focuses on the difference between obesity rates in low-income areas and more affluent areas. We’re testing and running projects with our partners to encourage healthy eating and physical activity in the places children and families spend their time. We want to help tackle the high rates of childhood obesity locally, and share lessons that others can replicate elsewhere.
We have developed a model for our programme which is underpinned by three strands - homes, schools and streets. We back 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.
Childhood obesity is a complex issue, but the evidence shows us that progress is possible. To see real impact, we are taking a long-term perspective.
We want to close the 'obesity gap' between the low-income wards and the more affluent wards in Lambeth and Southwark over the next 10 years. Our theory is that we will effect greater change by focusing on environments where children and their families spend time, running a mix of activities that promote a healthy diet and exercise, and working with people and organisations from all sectors.
As well as making a difference on the ground, we work to influence policy at a local and national level to help further the 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