Look Up – London Borough of Islington, England
Key message – Challenge yourself to get active + try new healthier foods
Challenge – The prevalence of overweight and obesity amongst young people within Islington remains high; particularly for those living in the most deprived areas and who are from Black and Minority Ethnic groups. Some local risk factors include; limited availability of high quality, affordable healthy food in local neighbourhoods, exposure to unhealthy food is high with 139 takeaways per 100,000 people living in Islington; and children in Islington have reduced opportunity to access to green space where they can be physically active, with on average only 4.8m² to play in, which is below the London recommendation of 10 m². (Islington Evidence Hub, 2013).
Insight – Young people are more motivated by the positive impact of healthy habits on their life and appearance than their blood pressure and BMI. Health is a means to an end, enabling young people to live their lives to the full.
Solution – Working with NCB, a leading psychologist and social marketing experts, a group of young people living in Islington devised the ‘Look Up’ campaign. ‘Look Up’ represents what big, positive things can happen when you make small changes to your lifestyle. Linked to pop up events young people provide a space to open up conversation with their peers about what health means to them, and how to get motivated to make positive changes.
Impact – ‘Look Up’ is entirely managed by local young people and was launched via Facebook and Twitter pages, which they use to post content such as tips and challenges. ‘Look Up’ has been well received by local stakeholders and is supported by the youth service and public health team; it is beginning to change young lives across Islington.