The five Childhood Obesity Trailblazers

Birmingham, Bradford, Lewisham, Nottinghamshire and Pennine Lancashire


Birmingham City Council and its partners aim to create a healthier city by targeting the social and economic determinants of health. The Trailblazer is using the levers of environmental planning, education and intelligence on the food purchasing behaviour of the city. Actions include the development of “healthy” apprenticeships, support for healthy food entrepreneurships and the use of a planning toolkit. A key element of the Birmingham Trailblazer programme is action to develop a better understanding of food in the city through a ‘Birmingham Basket’. This will provide an on-going city-wide picture of food purchasing in the city to track food choices and the impact of action to encourage healthy eating. Childhood Obesity Trailblazer: Tackling Obesity through economic growth (pdf)

Birmingham City Council logo

Bradford: Keeping the Faith

Bradford Council, Born in Bradford and the Bradford Council for Mosques are working together to harness the potential of Islamic Religious Settings (IRSs) to tackle childhood obesity amongst Bradford’s Islamic communities. The Trailblazer seeks to build the capacity of the IRSs to undertake action against childhood obesity through skills development, creating an understanding of the wider system and support to access funding. Priority is being given to the development of a toolkit of obesity-prevention resources which can be used in religious settings. Madrassas and their communities have been involved in developing the toolkit alongside public health experts. The toolkit has three core elements focussing on physical activity, healthy diet, and organisational change in Islamic religious settings.

Using Islamic religious settings to prevent obesity for Asian children in the UK (pdf)

City of Bradford logo


The London Borough of Lewisham is working with advertising industry partners Outsmart, JCDEUX and ISBA to reduce high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) adverts across the out of home advertising estate in the borough. It is seeking to restrict HFSS advertising while at the same time developing healthy eating messages to display. These healthy eating messages have been co-produced, through work with Lewisham’s Young Mayor’s team. The Lewisham Trailblazer is also seeking to work with local food businesses and community groups to create a shared narrative of healthy eating and develop culturally relevant nutrition resources.

Lewisham Trailblazer

Lewisham Council logo


The Nottinghamshire Trailblazer builds on the county’s whole system approach to healthy eating by developing food skills and access to support for families with children in their early years. The aim is to support families by giving them access to affordable and healthy food, improving the quality and nutrition of food in early years settings, and enabling parents to develop good eating habits alongside their children. Currently the project is focusing on developing a healthy at home ‘meal kit’ for families to improve access to healthy food and develop families’ knowledge and skills. In addition, a Community of Practice is being established to enable early years practitioners to share learning and best practice.

Nottinghamshire Early Years Food Environment (pdf)

Nottinghamshire County Council logo

Pennine Lancashire: Healthier Place, Healthier Future

Pennine Lancashire, a consortium of authorities and Food Active, are taking a system-wide approach to transforming food environments. The aim is to improve the food offer in local areas and empower local communities to work to create a healthier food environment. The Trailblazer is targeting system leadership across the geography by engaging and inspiring councillors to promote healthy weight and healthy eating. The Trailblazer is testing the use of planning powers and business engagement to both limit the development of unhealthy food eateries and promote the availability of healthier food options in existing restaurants and takeaways through the Recipe for Health Award. The Trailblazer is also working with voluntary and community groups and faith groups to encourage local people to advocate for healthier food options.

LGA Trailblazer Assembly Pennine Lancashire Childhood Obesity Trailblazer (pdf)

HPHF logo