Childhood obesity and neglect – resources for practitioners

Obesity in childhood is a significant public health issue.

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) measures the height and weight of children in Reception class (aged 4-5) and Year Six (aged 10-11), to assess overweight and obesity levels in children within primary schools. In 2017/18 almost 25% of reception children and 41% of Year 6 children in Manchester were overweight or obese.

Childhood obesity can lead to cardiac, respiratory and musculo-skeletal problems, bullying, poor friendship networks and isolation, and self-esteem. Obesity can start in early childhood and the longer it lasts the harder it becomes for children and young people to lose weight.

Given the harm that childhood obesity causes, professionals should always consider whether there are actual or likely safeguarding concerns. This requires careful assessment, consideration of the available evidence and a clear analysis.

The Children’s Community Safeguarding Team and the Healthy Weight Team at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust have created a ‘Safeguarding Analysis Tool in the Context of Obesity’ to support practitioners in undertaking this analysis.

Following a Serious Case Review into the death of a child as a result of obesity, the MSCB Neglect Strategy has been altered to include ‘overweight’ in addition to ‘underweight’ as an indicator of neglect.

The Manchester Local Care Organisation have also formed a multi-agency Obesity Steering Group who have formulated robust obesity pathways to be followed by health and social care.

See our children & young people with potentially acute health conditions resource for the national view on obesity.

Downloads available on this page:


Got a question?

Use our quick Q+A to find commonly asked quesitons.

Can’t find what you are looking for?

View our resources page

Latest News and Training & Events

We try to keep our newsfeed as up to date as possible and feature items of interest to practitioners and volunteers across our partnerships




Anyone who has been affected by the suicide of a loved one knows how devastating ...



The Manchester Safeguarding Partnership (formerly Manchester Safeguarding Adults ...




Date:  Thursday 3rd October 2019      Time:  2 -3.00 pm (1.45 pm Registrat...



Date: 11th February 2020 Venue: Leeds Next year's conference will explore ...


GMFRS logo
nwas logo
CPS logo
Christie logo
Cafcass logo
GMSP logo
hw_manchester logo
Macc logo
PAHT logo
MFT logo
mhcc logo
NHS England logo
CRC logo
NPS logo
GMP logo
Barnardo's logo
MCC logo
Manchester Safeguarding Boards