How to tackle the obesity crisis
Healthy eating education – a resource for schools and healthcare professionals
We understand getting children to maintain a healthy diet is no easy feat, especially during the cost of living crisis. That’s why we decided to run this project to support families in White City. We hope that the lesson plan and learning can be applied to other communities.
What is the problem?
Right on our doorstep is an area of London that has a high proportion of families living in challenging circumstances. In White City 40.7% of year 6 students are classed as overweight. The CC4C team interviewed parents from White City and at the local Children’s outpatients to find out what made it difficult for their children to have a healthy diet. It turned out that, for the majority of parents, their children just would not choose health foods.
What is our goal?
To encourage healthy food choices among young people through the education of primary school children.
What have we done so far?
Our team designed a school assembly that can be delivered to children age 7 – 11 (Key Stage 2). This assembly is interactive and covers 3 main topics:
• What counts as one of your five a day
• What are the different food groups
• Sugar intake
We tried it out at 2 different primary schools. These assemblies were received with great enthusiasm from students and positive feedback from the teachers. After both assembly trials we amended the assembly based of experience and feedback. Changes included bringing more visual aids to help teach the students about food groups.
What is the bigger picture?
We wrapped up each assembly asking pupils if they would adopt any new healthy habits following the session. Pledges ranged from eating more fruit and vegetables to cutting down on fizzy drinks (one pupil made an ambitious promise to cut down to only one fizzy drink a year).
How can you use the resource?
We hadn’t anticipated how fun and rewarding delivering the assemblies would be and would definitely encourage others to use our lesson plans and spread the word.
As a teacher or teaching assistant:
This assembly can be delivered in a singular session (allow 30 minutes) or as 3 separate assemblies or lessons. Given the extent of content covered in the assembly we would recommend that it is delivered in 3 stages to allow deeper discussion amongst pupils and for each topic to be explored in more depth.
As a healthcare professional:
First, get in touch with local primary schools. (We contacted 13 local primary schools, scheduled three assemblies and were able to deliver two within that term)
The themes and questions within this assembly plan could also be discussed during paediatric consultations when trying to sensitively address diet in overweight children.
If you work in a primary school within North West London and would be interested in planning an assembly please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This assembly plan could not have been put together without guidance from the Change for Life resources.