‘Healthy Weight Tayside’, a whole systems approach to child healthy weight in Dundee City
Evaluation Completed April 2023
Jenny Gillespie, Embedded Researcher, published a blog on her experiences as embedded researchers on the Dundee project. Click here to access the blog.
What does the research mean for Local Authorities?
The findings of the evaluation will provide Dundee with an understanding of how different stakeholders perceive their roles, knowledge and engagement within the Whole Systems Approach (WSA) to tackle obesity. Shaped by co-production activities with local communities, the findings will show what they can do in relation to actions at different levels within the system. This will help inform decision making around future development of the WSA in Dundee. The evaluation will also make recommendations for how to apply and adapt this approach to other local authorities in Tayside (Angus and Perth and Kinross).
What does the evaluation research mean for the Public?
Tackling obesity requires longer term action across a range of organisations, people and communities. Dundee City has developed a Whole Systems Approach (WSA) to help local communities take forward key actions related to ‘Healthy Weight Tayside’. Dundee’s WSA is designed to address obesity by working alongside organisations and local communities to alter the system in a favourable way. Through collective effort operating at different levels, it will become easier for children to eat and drink well, play and be active and achieve their best weight. This research will also enable other local authorities to manage and prevent childhood overweight and obesity.
How are the public involved in the project?
Three workshops were held with local stakeholders to develop a research design. These pointed to the importance of involving local people in co-producing the research, by acting as peer researchers and working alongside the research team. Local stakeholders, including members of the community, will be trained to carry out interviews with colleagues in their social networks on how they perceive their role and ability to engage in a range of activities across different organisations and communities to tackle overweight and obesity.
Their views will be sense checked and deepened in an online survey among wider stakeholders in Dundee involved in developing and implementing the WSA across Dundee, including young people from local communities to ensure everybody’s voice is heard in the evaluation.
All different views will be brought together at the end of the project in action learning sets, which bring together a group of approximately 15 stakeholders, including public health & social care commissioners, front-line practitioners, third-sector representatives, service users and local academics to reflect on the evaluation findings over a series of online workshops.
Lay Summary of Research
In Dundee, nearly one in four Primary school children are at risk of being overweight or obese. More children have overweight or obesity in communities marginalised by poverty and deprivation. Tackling obesity requires longer term action across a range of organisations, people and communities. Dundee City has developed a Whole Systems Approach (WSA) to help local communities take forward key actions related to ‘Healthy Weight Tayside’. This research project will learn from experiences in Dundee City and explore how this approach can be applied to the other two council areas in Tayside - Angus and Perth and Kinross - where there are a similar number of children at risk of overweight and obesity.
Jenny Gillespie, Dr William Cook, NHS Tayside, Audrey White, Dundee City Council
PHIRST Fusion Research Team
Dr Peter van der Graaf, Northumbria University
Dr Helen Moore, Dr Murali Subramanian, Prof Amelia Lake, Teesside University
Dr Andrew Passey, Newcastle University
Dr Nai Rui Chng, University of Glasgow
Jenny Gillespie, NHS Tayside
Emily Lowrie, Olivia Wood and Cara Spink, Abertay University Dundee