Let's take on Childhood Obesity

kids watching TVTitle: "Childhood Obesity; Let’s take it on, one small step at a time"
Audience: All adults on the island of Ireland
Channels: Television, radio, outdoor, digital, social, print and retail with free booklet for parents available in crèches, health centres, GP surgeries, and from public health nurses and local libraries
Web: https://www.safefood.eu/
Launch date: 21 October, 2013


This three year campaign aims to communicate practical solutions that parents can take on in order to tackle the everyday habits associated with excess weight in childhood. The campaign also aims to maintain awareness among parents of the health challenges posed by excess weight in childhood, the negative impact this can have on the quality of life, and the importance of tackling this for the long-term.


Tackling Childhood Obesity is a public health priority, with 1 in 4 children across the island of Ireland now carrying excess weight. Without action to reverse the trends we’re seeing in our own and our children’s weight and health, the next generation will be beset with significant ill-health related to overweight and obesity, most of which is potentially preventable.

Campaign messages

With research indicating a demand for practical solutions but in small, achievable steps, the campaign messaging will focus on six core actions for parents, on a phased, three-year basis:

  • Understanding portion sizes for children
  • How to manage treat foods like sweets, crisps and chocolate
  • Being more physically active
  • Reducing screen-time
  • Replacing sugary drinks
  • Encouraging more sleep

Research and development

As well as accessing the latest population dietary research, safefood undertook extensive focus groups with parents in multiple locations across the island. This research found that parents are aware of the issue, concerned about their current choices, and really in need of practical strategies, solutions and information on how to bring about change for their family’s health.

Policy context

The Special Advisory Group on Obesity (SAGO), the Healthy Ireland Framework in the Republic of Ireland and the Fitter Futures for All Implementation Plan in Northern Ireland form the strategic basis for the campaign.


The Health Service Executive and Healthy Ireland (ROI) and the Public Health Agency (NI).


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