We focus on four complex health issues more prevalent in urban areas
With the Social Progress Imperative, we've developed the first neighbourhood level, health-focused social progress index of its kind.
With Wellcome Trust
We want to hear from you.
We want to break the link between low income and poor nutrition, by improving the quality of food options in lower-income neighbourhoods
All children should have the opportunity to be healthy, no matter where they live. This includes access to a nutritious diet.
Yet children’s chances of accessing healthy food – or being flooded with unhealthy food – depend strongly on where they grow up. As a result, children living in areas of lower average income are more likely to be both malnourished and obese.
We believe that by coordinating efforts from different organisations and individuals, we can have an impact on unequal access to nutritious food.
We are running a ten-year programme to improve children’s health in urban areas by tackling childhood obesity.
Childhood obesity is a complex global issue. It’s a major challenge in London, which has the highest rates of any global city. It is also a particular issue in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark – where we work – which have some of the highest rates in the country. However, although the issue is complex, we believe solutions don’t have to be.
Our programme is working to change the food environments in places where children and families spend their time, so that eating well is the easiest – not hardest – thing to do.
Finally, we are working in 14 wards in Lambeth and Southwark that are flooded with unhealthy food and have limited places for children to run and play. By targeting areas with unhealthy food environments, we will engage with more than 60,000 children across our boroughs with the aim to reduce the gap in childhood obesity rates between lower-income and more affluent areas by 25%.
Knowing the incredibly strong link between childhood obesity and income, we set out to understand more about the area and communities living there. We explore characteristics like ethnic background, type of housing, or employment.
The data pointed to higher levels of ethnic diversity in areas with high levels of childhood obesity. This helped us better understand the make-up of the neighbourhoods where we might work.
Become a partner
We partner with other organisations in order to deliver projects, conduct research and amplify our results.
As food environments are influenced by businesses, government and our own communities, creating change requires working with a wide range of partners. In practice, this means we layer up different activities and work with a range of organisations to test and run projects that can tackle the issue from many angles.
As a result of the clear link between an area’s average income and obesity, we focus our efforts in the areas with lower average incomes, where childhood obesity rates are highest.
The projects and activities within our programme focus on three areas to make sure children and families can live healthy lives: streets, schools and homes. This means that we work across these different environments in order to make an impact on closing the inequality gap.
We sit on London’s Child Obesity Taskforce to have a part in shaping children’s health across London and beyond. We are also supported by a committee of cross-sector experts who challenge and advise us on how to have the most impact.
We partner with local, national and international organisations working in order to improve access to nutritious food. See some of our recent partnerships.
With School Food Matters
With SMASH app
What will the food environment in inner cities be like in 2035? What will have changed or remained the same? We're visualising what a better food future could look like that works for us all.
Opportunities and barriers in the school food system to prioritise nutritious food for our young people
Portfolio Manager Louise Foreman and Engagement Manager Matthias Lomas from Guy's & St Thomas' Foundation discuss how we are working to shape healthier and more equitable food environments.
Breaking down the challenge of inner-city childhood obesity
We want to find ways to support young people from urban areas with mental health issues and learn how to reduce mental health inequality in communities living on low incomes.
We want to address the health effects of poor air quality on people whose health is most impacted by air pollution: children, older people and people with heart and lung conditions.
We want to address the social and economic determinants of health in order to ensure longer, healthier lives for people with multiple long-term conditions.