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Childhood Obesity Research

Ethnic Dimension was commissioned by the Department of Health via the Central Office of Information (COI) to carry out a major programme of research during October 2007 and August 2008.

The need was to provide real depth of insight into attitudes and actual behaviours around diet and lifestyles amongst the Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Black African and Black Caribbean communities. Learnings were used to feed into the development of a social marketing programme designed to encourage healthier outcomes.

A range of processes, designed to provide a comprehensive picture of the issues and cultural practices that impact on lifestyles, were used:

  • Accompanied shopping trips to observe food shopping habits
  • Ethnographic home visits and family discussions also involving participation in family meals
  • Setting up and evaluating responses to a range of diet and lifestyle visual installations
  • Interviews with healthcare professionals

The key outcome was the development of practical guidance on developing culturally appropriate interventions which could encourage positive behaviour changes and health outcomes.