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Tackling childhood obesity in our borough

We are tackling childhood obesity in the borough through a Government backed scheme focused on advertising.

Childhood obesity in our borough

One in five children are obese or overweight when they start reception class at primary school – similar to the national average. Two in five children are obese or overweight when they start secondary school, which is higher than the national average.

Funding to tackle childhood obesity

In 2019-2022, we were - awarded £300,000 to support our work to tackle childhood obesity.

We were one of five councils selected for the Childhood Obesity Trailblazer Programme (COTP).

This was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Local Government Association is managing it with support from Public Health England. The Lewisham COTP was a unique partnership between the advertising industry and the public sector.

How the scheme tackled childhood obesity

We used the funding to test our powers to:

  • restrict products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) advertising

  • harness outdoor advertising space for co-produced health promoting advertisements.

Restricting high fat, sugar and salt advertising

The advertising estates in the borough like billboards, digital screens and bus stop advertising belong to various owners. We introduced voluntary advertising restrictions across the borough through contracts with major advertising estate owners working in partnership with:

  • Outsmart, who represent advertising companies

Taking the lead from TfL’s advertising restrictions

This work built on the Transport for London (TfL) HFSS advertising restrictions across its estates in London.

TfL oversee 50% of the advertising space in the borough. From 2020 to 2021 these restrictions extended to all JCDecaux owned estate. This -resulted in HFSS restrictions across 80% of out of home (OOH) advertising space. 

Advertising space for health campaigns

Through working in partnership with JCDecaux, digital screens and unused advertising spaces were accessed to advertise locally designed health promotion campaigns.

The health promotion campaigns were co-produced with local communities. The Young Mayor’s team  worked with young people on our first campaign to influence local businesses and asking them to sign up to the Sugar Smart campaign.

Nutrition and recipe book for Black African and Caribbean families

Insight from local people identified that, in conjunction with limiting exposure to food and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar there is a need to provide culturally appropriate nutrition resources, particularly for people of Black African and Black Caribbean heritage.  

A Dietitian was commissioned to gather insight from community groups and develop a nutrition resource specifically for people of Black African and Caribbean heritage. 

Download the resource


You can contact us on publichhealthteamlewisham.gov.uk.

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