Engaging with children in schools to promote healthy lifestyles and weight management
Engaging with children in Year 6 via local schools to promote healthy lifestyles and weight within the education setting. Uptake of the Change Makers services within these areas is low and the aim includes speaking to parents at schools within Nuneaton Central to understand their understanding of Change Makers and how the service could be improved to better meet needs.
Why change was needed
The prevalence of childhood obesity within Warwickshire North is higher than the average for the county, and therefore is a priority. Evidence shows this is linked to areas with high deprivation, high diabetes prevalence and poor mental health.
What we did
Engagement sessions have been carried out at four schools in the Nuneaton Central areas to explore promoting healthy lifestyles and weight within the education setting. This includes surveying parents at schools gates and at coffee mornings.
Coventry University are supporting the engagement with in-depth parent engagement, which includes 63 responses and 7 in-depth interviews. Findings from the engagement include parents finding the National Child Measurements Programme (NCMP) letters insensitive, parents understanding the aim of the Change Makers programme, yet many feel that a child weight is not something to be concerned about, it is seen as something they will grow out of. Parents raised ethical concerns about the NCMP and Change Makers programme. Some felt unclear if a health professional had involvement, and said this would make a difference to how they felt.
Work has been done as a result of these findings to change the NCMP letter to reflect views expressed and health literacy age.
- Create champions with teachers/headteachers through the programme
- Ensure resources available parents include financial aspects of healthy eating due to rising cost of living
- Evaluate the work to understand if impact has occurred and uptake of Change Makers service following NCMP letter changes improves
- Explore alternative engagement options for schools within Nuneaton Central to provide opportunities to engage with settings