• Project led by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast.
  • Aiming to transform the lives of children and families who are struggling with weight issues.
  • Will implement a multidisciplinary programme incorporating psychology, dietetics and exercise, to empower children and families to achieve better mental wellbeing and improved physical health.

A quarter of children (aged two to 15) in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEHSCT) area are overweight or obese. Eight per cent are obese and are at risk of developing obesity-related complications such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and musculoskeletal problems. 

In SEHSCT, overweight/obese children have traditionally been managed by paediatricians and dieticians, without any input from physiotherapy or psychology, and without support for family members. Obesity has been medicalised and outcomes have been poor.

This project will develop and introduce an early intervention programme for children with obesity in SEHSCT. Children will attend a 45 minute assessment at a multidisciplinary clinic with a doctor, nurse, dietician and physiotherapist. The team will discuss treatment options and offer group sessions or one-to-one appointments. 

Group sessions, to be held in non-clinical environments such as leisure centres, will focus on nutrition, physical activity and will foster peer support. Multidisciplinary group reviews will take place quarterly, to monitor progress. 

The programme will not only support children to achieve a healthy weight, but will empower families to make healthy choices.

Children who are struggling to make health behaviour changes will be invited to attend a 12-week, one-to-one health coaching programme. 

It is estimated that between 40 and 48 children will go through the programme in the 12-month intervention period. 

Family questionnaires will be used to assess quality of life. Other key outcome measures will include psychological symptoms and self-esteem, physical activity levels, dietary habits, and changes in BMI.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Dr Anne-Marie McClean, Paediatric Registrar and Clinical Leadership Fellow, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust.

About this programme


Innovating for Improvement


This programme supports up to 23 projects with up to £75,000 to test and develop innovative ideas...

You might also like...


Webinar: Health in early years – how can we improve opportunities to live a healthy life?


Join us for this webinar to hear fresh insights – and their implications for policy – from two...



The challenge of going green: creating a more sustainable Health Foundation


As a funder, investor and a workplace, environmental sustainability should be a 'green thread'...

Press release

Government must ‘seize the moment’ and take a 'whole government’ approach to improving health, says charity

Press release

Health Foundation statement following the release of the cross-government strategy.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

We believe we have a responsibility to act on climate change and environmental breakdown. We're taking steps to re… https://t.co/bEZx8NYPsS

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more