For information on obesity treatment and prevention (as well as dental health interventions) in this age group please see the ‘Children and young people’ JSNA chapter.

Get Hackney Healthy also runs projects aimed at the 5-19 age group. Health Heroes is one of the main programmes for school age children and works with targeted primary schools.  The Health Heroes programme is focused on physical activity, increasing children’s knowledge of healthy eating and school catering reviews. Health Heroes has worked with 13 schools and conducted 10 catering reviews, and has improved the school food environment for over 3,000 young people in Hackney.

The catering reviews have resulted in the development of new packed lunch policies, the development of new menus, removal of flash fried foods (for example pre-made roast potatoes), improvements in the eating environment and developing healthy tuck shops. An example of the success of one Health Heroes school in increasing vegetable intake among pupils is described in Box 6.

Box 6: Case study – Nightingale Primary School

As part of the Health Heroes programme, Nightingale Primary School in Hackney grew its own vegetables and salad leaves. A new salad bar was introduced to the meal hall which used produce that the children had grown in the school garden.

This resulted in a 40% increase in the number of salad portions eaten each day, with 80% of children now regularly choosing to eat salad – up from 50% prior to the school participating in the Health Heroes programme.