Article 19.05.2020

Systems approaches to obesity: The lived experience of young people

Adopting systems approaches to address obesity is an approach covered in the webinar led by Wendy Wills, Lead of ARC EoE Prevention and Early Detection in Health and Social Care theme where she talks about the rationale for a consultation that enabled young people to talk about growing up in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

Doing nothing about obesity is not a realistic option but given the multiple and interlinked causes of excess weight, simplistic solutions are not effective at population level. Local authorities are adopting systems approaches to address obesity and one important element of such an approach is to understand public perceptions about ‘systems’ within a locality, i.e. the factors experienced as influencing weight.

In this seminar Professor Wendy Wills discusses the consultation with young people in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. The consultation, part of the local authority agenda to plan healthy weight initiatives, considered the local factors linked with excess weight, from young people’s perspectives. Affordability, crime and anti-social behaviour, transport and places to go and eat were identified by young people as issues that influence obesity in their local area. These findings will inform the direction of preventative weight services.

Watch a recording of this seminar.

Download the slides from Dr Wills seminar as a PDF.