Tackling inequalities in childhood obesity with the help of Islamic religious settings

Theme Diet and physical activity

Workstream Population diet and physical activity

Status: This project is ongoing

Childhood obesity is highest in children from Asian and Black ethnic groups in the UK. In Bradford 40 per cent of children are of South Asian ethnicity and 91 per cent of these children attend a Mosque or Madrassah, for religious learning after school. Since 2017 our partners at the Bradford Institute for Health Research have been researching the potential of these settings for childhood obesity prevention.

The Bradford team co-produced a programme called Madrasah’s Living Well with Islamic teachers, Imams, parents, volunteers, obesity prevention experts and Bradford Metropolitan District Council. The programme works with Madrasah’s to support healthy eating, physical activity and obesity prevention for South Asian Muslim children.

Project aims

The aim of this project is to explore how the Madrasah’s Living Well programme could be modified to be delivered within Bristol. With help from our Bradford colleagues, we will explore how to adjust the programme to fit the needs of Bristol’s Muslim population, which is ethnically different to that of Bradford.

We will:

  • identify which aspects of the ‘Bradford’ model could translate to Bristol
  • consider potential modifications we need to make
  • develop and agree on a Bristol implementation model

What we hope to achieve

We hope to adapt the current Madrasah’s Living Well programme to the Bristol context and develop revised, culturally appropriate intervention materials suitable for the Muslim ethnicities in the population of our city.