Go Golborne halts unhealthy weight gain in North Kensington kids

25 October 2019

Go Golborne, an innovative community-based project in North Kensington’s Golborne ward, has helped to halt the rise in childhood obesity in the area, according to a University of Kent evaluation.

The University’s Centre for Health Services Studies concluded that Go Golborne, which was developed by the public health teams at Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Councils, also showed a declining trend in obesity among younger children.

The percentage of overweight children aged between four and 11 fell from 27.7 per cent to 26.3 per cent as a result of the programme – a statistically significant reduction given that inequalities in unhealthy weight gain are rising at a local and national level.

The Council is now investing in a new long-term programme to support children and young people across the borough to eat well, keep active and maintain a healthy weight.

Cllr Sarah Addenbrooke, Lead Member for Public Health and Adult Social Care, said: “With childhood obesity on the rise, Go Golborne’s success in bucking the trend and promoting healthy lifestyles is very encouraging.

“Its achievements would not have been possible without the engagement and efforts of the entire community and it was inspiring to see so many different organisations taking part.

“We are now committed to building on the results of Go Golborne by rolling out similar schemes across Kensington and Chelsea, including targeting two new neighbourhoods per year over the next five years.”

More than 3,360 children took part in Go Golborne between 2015-18, with activities including:

  • 5-a-day your way to promote fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Unplug and play to reduce screen time increase physical play
  • Sugar smart to reduce sugar consumption
  • Pedal & stride to promote active travel 
  • Be food smart to promote healthy snacking
  • Fit 4 Kids to support voluntary organisations develop healthy lifestyle approaches

Go Golborne’s whole-systems approach relied on community involvement – and 110 schools, businesses, community centres, mosques and market traders took part.

The Venture Centre, in North Kensington, played its part by working with children to introduce award-winning schemes such as healthy lunches and a sugar smart zone which banned sugary snacks from the Centre’s adventure playground.

Pattrina Quashie-Ferguson, Interim Head of Operations at the Venture Centre, said: “A lot of our children were bringing in bags of sugar and were coming in with rotten teeth. The staff got together with them to come up with the sugar smart zone

“It was the community that let us know it was a success because the shops nearby saw the decline in children buying sweets. The children now associate the Venture Centre with being healthy and low sugar consumption.”

View the Go Golborne summary report