Gloji Energy: A family-centred approach to child healthy weight in Lincolnshire

The Gloji Energy programme, initiated in response to persistent obesity rates and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasises physical and emotional wellbeing for children and their families.

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Lincolnshire's Gloji Energy, an initiative under One You Lincolnshire, marks a significant step in addressing childhood obesity in the county. 

This comprehensive programme, initiated in response to persistent obesity rates and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasises physical and emotional wellbeing for children and their families. 

Its innovative and inclusive approach has been developed for children aged four to 13 and their families, bridging the gap between child and adult weight management services. It emphasises early intervention and family involvement, aiming to instil healthy lifestyle habits from a young age.

The challenge

Historically, there have been high levels of childhood and adult obesity in Lincolnshire, particularly in its coastal and deprived communities. The region's rural nature posed additional barriers to accessing health services. 

Lincolnshire recognised that childhood obesity was leading to an increased risk of long-term health outcomes throughout teenage years and into adulthood. These included recording high levels of adults living with obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Previous child weight management services in Lincolnshire had been delivered solely to children rather than families and had not been closely integrated with adult weight management services .

The recent absence of specialised weight management services for children and the impact of COVID-19 made it imperative to develop a holistic, accessible, and effective solution that prioritises healthy lifestyles rather than just reducing weight.

The solution

The solution was to introduce new approaches as part of the council’s broader COVID recovery strategy alongside their joint health and wellbeing strategy. This established a focus on children’s social and emotional wellbeing as a determinant of a healthy lifestyle.

Gloji Energy was designed as a multifaceted, family-focused programme. It begins with an assessment of family readiness, followed by a 12-week intervention combining one-to-one and group sessions. 

The programme includes innovative physical activities such as trampolining and rock climbing, alongside hands-on nutritional and lifestyle educational activities. The involvement of parents and siblings in the sessions reinforces a supportive environment, ensuring all the family are on board and enabling social support for both parents and children. 

The impact

Early results of the programme have been promising, with families reporting positive behavioural changes and improved lifestyles that incorporate the four main messages of nutrition, movement, mind and sleep. 

The referral system has been made as accessible as possible by being visible across a range of partner services and programmes offered by the Council including NHS colleagues in oral health and paediatrics, schools and the Holiday Activities and Foods programme. 

The programme includes introducing children to new activities, foods and education about nutrition to make it as engaging as possible. While it is too early to evaluate long-term impacts, initial indications suggest a shift towards healthier habits and improved psychological wellbeing among children and families. 

How is the new approach being sustained?

Gloji Energy's sustainability lies in its integration with existing community and health services in Lincolnshire. The programme's design enables flexibility and adaptability to family needs, ensuring continuous support and relevance. 

Follow up appointments with families are made 6 and 12 months after completing the 12-week programme to review the health missions that have been set for long term behaviour change. Families are also weighed again to gather metrics of improvement towards a healthy weight through a healthier lifestyle. 

Lessons learned

Implementing Gloji Energy highlighted the importance of addressing weight management holistically, integrating support around social and emotional wellbeing, and adapting services to individual family needs. 

Key challenges included overcoming stigmas associated with weight management programmes and ensuring engagement from families in rural areas. 

Strategies such as diverse referral pathways through existing and trusted organisations and programmes alongside online participation options were crucial in addressing these challenges.


Lynn Wilkinson, Children’s Health Locality Manager

[email protected]

Dr Sarah Chaudhary, Public Health Directorate

[email protected]