Fit Families for the Future: Improving our recognition and response to children and families struggling with obesity

South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust

This project is under way, and will run until March 2020.

  • 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

Programme

Innovating for Improvement

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

You might also like...

Press release

Government urged to overhaul housing, transport and education policies to secure a healthy society

New report from the Health Foundation finds young people’s future health at risk

Article

Policy recommendations for young people's future health

Read about the nine expert organisations selected to provide a deep dive into seven key policy areas affecting young people's...

Working paper

How many young people are accruing the assets they need for a healthy transition into adulthood?

This working paper uses longitudinal datasets to explore how many young people are accumulating the key asset for future heal...

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