Bite Size: Breaking down the challenge of inner-city childhood obesity

16 March 2018

A new report from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, ‘Bite Size: Breaking down the challenge of inner-city childhood obesity’, explores how the characteristics of an inner-city setting contribute to the behavioural drivers of childhood obesity, focussing on three key characteristics: deprivation, diversity and urbanisation. The report recommends taking a whole-system, place-based approach to tackle childhood obesity.

Key findings of the report:

  • Obesity is often seen as an issue of information and willpower on the part of individuals, with repeated education initiatives aiming to reduce levels through improving knowledge. However, this report strongly suggests that we need to rethink and reframe the issue as a normal response to an abnormal environment.
  • An 80-20 split in the focus on diet over exercise is a good rule of thumb when it comes to designing interventions to combat childhood obesity.
  • There is a strong but complex relationship between socioeconomic status and childhood obesity and so, while there is a need for universal population-level interventions, more intensive support is required for disadvantaged groups within that.

Included within the report are practical principles for developing interventions in line with the latest behavioural evidence around the drivers of obesity: designing for maximum impact; making healthy choices easier; and changing the environment.

Find out more here


Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association

Food Matters

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation