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Health Heroes: A whole school approach to healthy weight

Title
Health Heroes: A whole school approach to healthy weight
Source/publisher
Hackney Local Government
Publication year 2014
Date entered into repository14 May 2014
Introduction
In January 2012, the Children’s Health and Wellbeing Advisory Group (LBH Advisory Group) agreed to fund a pilot project in one school which would take a whole school approach to promoting healthy lifestyles and tackling obesity (including pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community).
What did you do? Briefly describe what was involved in your case study
The project focused on the following strands: Increasing Physical activity; Providing education on nutrition; Supporting access to healthy food; Use of local parks and green spaces. 
Preparation for delivery of the pilot project began in April 2012. The pilot project began in Randal Cremer Primary School in September 2012, and initially ran for one academic year, alongside a wider programme of work tackling childhood obesity across the borough. Interventions were planned across the four project strands: healthy eating; increasing physical activity; providing nutritional education and supporting access to healthy 
food; and increasing the use of local parks and green spaces. An open approach was employed to trialling interventions as this has been a pilot programme which 
enabled officers to assess impact and effectiveness of a range of interventions. Some interventions were targeted specifically at students, staff or parents and some were 
targeted at the school as a whole. Full details of the interventions used are included in the evaluation report.
What was the outcome/result of your case study?
Post intervention, evaluation showed improvements in health behaviours by children, parents and teachers and improved links with the wider community to improve health. These included reductions in waist measurement and BMI of children, increases in physical activity and physical activity performance, anecdotal improvements in 
behaviour and implementation of newly acquired knowledge on how to cook and eat healthily. Specifically: 
Almost all children increased their physical activity performance and amount of physical activity done during the intervention; 95% of children improved their physical activity performance over the course of the intervention and the amount of time children spent doing physical activity per day (as reported by parents) almost doubled during the intervention; A significant proportion of overweight and obese children reduced weight - 
92% of children measured reduced waist measurement; 66% of these were statistically significant reductions (12 and 8 classes out of 13 respectively); 69% of children measured reduced BMI; 46% of these statistically significant (9 and 6 classes out of 13 respectively). Of the remaining 4 classes, 3 showed BMI remained steady; The number of children eating a healthy breakfast increased by 23% to 60% by the end of the intervention and those not eating breakfast reduced from 19% to 0%.
Has an evaluation of the project occurred?
See link to evaluation report below.
More informationRead evaluation
Topic
  • Food/nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Obesity
What audience is your case study relevant to?
  • Health Professional
  • Local government