NIHR Obesity Policy Research Unit at UCL


Working with parents to co-create urban policy recommendations to support healthier eating practices


The intention of this research is to identify policies which create the necessary conditions to support healthy diets. The project will bring together a diverse range of families to co-develop a set of policy options grounded in people’s lived experiences of food, which would make it easier and more desirable for them and their families to consume nutritious diets by breaking down financial, material and social barriers. 


Children living in the most deprived areas of England are over two times more likely to be living with overweight and obesity then those in the least deprived areas. It is critical that policies work to “level-up” stark inequalities in obesity and create an environment where people living in areas of deprivation find it easy and desirable to eat healthier diets.

Aims and methodology 

This will be a multi-phase project over the course of one year that will develop through partnerships with a range of stakeholders. After establishing partnerships and embedding ourselves within a community, we will engage a group of parents in a series of workshops initially aimed at capacity-building and subsequently building up to co-producing a set of actionable policy solutions. This participatory approach aims to harness the expertise of those with lived experience to create more effective and equitable policy solutions which fully consider the complex factors involved in healthy eating and the impact of policies in peoples’ lives.


  • The project will begin in June 2022 and culminate in a policy brief published at the end of 2023.