The proportion of children who are obese has doubled in England in the last ten years and currently one third of 10-11 year olds are overweight or obese. Whilst this is a huge fraction, there is still paucity of evidence for effective interventions that engage children and parents to make and sustain lifestyle behaviour change.
The Healthy Lifestyles Programme is an innovative school based intervention, developed using behaviour change theory and extensive stakeholder involvement. It seeks to deliver healthy lifestyle messages to encourage children to seek their parents support and effect change within the family. Central to the project were interactive drama workshops which were developed in collaboration with a Headbangers Theatre company. They communicate to the children ways to get and keep healthy in a fun and engaging way.
Behavioural and weight status outcomes 18 and 24 months from the exploratory trial of the Programme showed consistency in the direction of effects, all in favour of HeLP, demonstrating ‘proof of concept’.