Addressing childhood obesity

We're working with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity to develop new approaches to help prevent childhood obesity.


Key stats

  • 3 in 10

    Number of children in the most deprived areas of England that are obese

  • 1 in 3

    Number of children in England that are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school

  • 26,000

    Number of children aged 10-11 in England that are severely obese and need medical help

  • The challenge

    The healthy food and drinks market in the UK is growing steadily, yet nutritional value and high prices often go hand-in-hand. There is a clear relationship between childhood obesity and deprivation, with the healthiest products out of reach for many. The diets of those on low incomes are unhealthier than those in higher income brackets, with childhood obesity levels in areas of deprivation more than double those in affluent areas.

    And it’s not only the cost of food, but what’s available locally. People living in areas of deprivation are much more likely to have a greater number of cheap, unhealthy options on their doorstep, and less money to go in search of healthy alternatives.

  • Our approach

    Many social entrepreneurs are trying to tackle this challenge, for example, by developing new healthy food brands and new approaches to food retail. Four specific opportunities exist - two related to products innovation (snacks and pre-prepared meals) and two related to adapting retail channels (supermarkets and convenience stores). But this is a tough industry and most social businesses struggle to reach meaningful scale.

    As part of our Early Action focus area, we are working with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, leading experts in this field, to develop new approaches to help these entrepreneurs to succeed. Our report shows the opportunities and the barriers we will need to overcome.

    Read the report

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Whether you are a social enterprise, charity, investor or fund manager, we’d like to hear from you about how we can unite capital, expertise and ideas to solve social issues.