Illustration showing healthy food being cheaper than healthy food

Children's health and food Framing toolkit

Reframing how we talk about children’s health and food

Use our interactive toolkit to find out how you can build understanding and inspire action that improves children's health and reduces obesity.


How we talk about children’s health and food matters.

Where we live, and what we earn, shape the options available to us to be healthy, including our access to affordable, nutritious food. But people tend to think childhood health is about individual choices, and that obesity is solely due to lack of willpower and parental failure. An inevitable feature of modern life. And the only solution that people put forward is for there to be better education about food.

What’s missing in all this? Context.

Which is why we need to tell a new story showing that what surrounds us, shapes us. A story that helps to build support for the wider changes that will enable all children to thrive and be healthy.

The recommendations below are based on research by the FrameWorks Institute. Read more about our research methodology and findings here.

Frameworks Logo

© 2020 FrameWorks Institute

What is framing?

Framing is making choices about what we say and how we say it.

It’s what we emphasise, how we explain an issue, and what we leave unsaid.

These choices change how people think, feel and act.

Frames are more than just key words or phrases. Frames provide a scaffolding for you to build your communications, helping you to tell the same powerful story but in language that can be adapted for your audience.

6 recommendations for talking about children's health and food

River showing flood of unhealthy food
Use the rivers metaphor to talk about our high streets being flooded with junk food, and that there’s barely a trickle of healthy food available.
Illustration showing unhealthy food taking centre stage
Use the stage metaphor to explain how advertising and marketing practices engineer children’s taste for high-sugar, high-fat, calorie-dense foods.

Putting it into practice

Click on the highlighted text below to reveal how this text could be improved.

Put yourself to the test

Try our quiz below to see how you can put good framing into practice.

Which one is best? Choose one of the following

Want to see the full research on framing communications about children's health and food?

Sign up below and we'll send you the research from FrameWorks, including more information on how to put framing to good use in your work talking about children's health.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.