Would parents attending a weight management programme accept support for their children?

Theme Diet and physical activity

Workstream Clinical diet and physical activity

Status: This project is ongoing

We know that a child is at increased risk of being affected by overweight or obesity if their parent is overweight or obese. However, adult weight management programmes do not routinely link into child weight management services. This is despite the focus on ‘family-based programmes’ for children living with obesity,

This study looks at the potential of engaging children in weight management support when their parents engage with a commercial adult weight management programme. Throughout this project we will be working with Slimming World, our industry partner.

Project aims

The first part of the project aims to understand:

  • what motivates parents to take steps to address their own weight and help their child maintain or reach a healthy weight
  • parent’s perception of their child’s weight
  • the collateral effect on a child, when a parent addresses their own weight

The second part of the project explores whether parents attending Slimming World are:

  • accept their child’s height and weight being measured to assess whether their child is a healthy weight,
  • interested in receiving support for their child, if they are worried that their child is overweight, or their child is identified as overweight (during a height/weight check),
  • willing to be signposted by Slimming World to get support for their child (if indicated)

Finally, the study explores what format and design of support parents are interested in, to help their child reach a healthier weight.