Roehampton research central to parliamentary group’s obesity report

Roehampton research has been put at the heart of a parliamentary research paper on new ways to tackle obesity in children.

Posted: 17 November 2014

image for news story Roehampton research central to parliamentary group’s obesity report

The All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood, which is chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin, asked Roehampton senior lecturer Sue Greenfield to contribute evidence on how inequalities in lifestyles can lead to greater levels of obesity in some children. Mrs Greenfield is a member of the Early Childhood Research Centre within the University’s School of Education, and is a former nurse and health visitor.

Her report calls for a holistic approach to the obesity epidemic and for Government to support families to clear the hurdles to a fit and healthy childhood, building the healthy nation of the future.

Childhood obesity is increasing in the UK and nearly a third of children are now obese, according to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. The organisation has also found evidence that in reception and year six, children in the poorest 10 per cent of families are almost twice as likely to be obese compared with those in the most affluent group.

Mathias Urban Professor of Early Childhood Studies at University of Roehampton said the inclusion of Mrs Greenfield’s work was an important contribution to the debate on tackling obesity in children. He said: “We insisted on the inclusion of the chapter on the effects of inequalities on children’s health, and we see it as an important achievement that policy recommendations to tackle inequality are included in the report.”

The research carried out by Mrs Greenfield is another example of how staff in School of Education at Roehampton, are engaging with policy and practice at many levels, nationally and internationally. The report will influence political thinking in the lead up to the 2015 General Election and beyond

The All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood was formed to provide evidence to parliament about childhood obesity. Following publication of the report, Mrs Greenfield is now working as part of sub group on early years to look at how obesity can be prevented in very young children.

At Roehampton, Mrs Greenfield’s research includes children’s wellbeing; health and safeguarding. 

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