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Contact Information:

Dr Laura Basterfield
+44 (0)191 208 5276

Study Location:

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Can embedding the MapMe intervention, a tool to improve parental acknowledgement and understanding of childhood overweight and obesity, in the National Child Measurement Programme lead to improved child weight outcomes at one year?

Medical Conditions

Childhood overweight and obesity

This information is provided directly by researchers and we recognise that it isn't always easy to understand. We are working with researchers to improve the accessibility of this information.

Child overweight can lead to serious short and long term health problems, resulting in high costs to the NHS and other services. Overweight affects 1 in 4 children starting school and 1 in 3 leaving primary school. Urgent action is needed to address this. Parents play a key role managing their children's weight but tend not to know when their child is overweight, and so are less likely to take action. All 4-5 and 10-11-year-olds in England are weighed and measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), and parents receive the results by letter. MapMe supports parents to act upon the NCMP result by providing: 1) 'body image scales' (images of children ranging from underweight to very overweight) to help parents to understand if their child is overweight; 2) information on the consequences of child overweight, healthy eating, physical activity and sources of support. MapMe was tested in about 300 overweight children who achieved a healthier weight 1 year later, when compared to overweight children whose parents did not receive MapMe. We now need to confirm these findings in a better study with more children, to understand how MapMe works, and if it offers value for money. The study aims to understand whether the MapMe intervention can reduce child overweight, and if so how and at what cost.

Start dates may differ between countries and research sites. The research team are responsible for keeping the information up-to-date.  

The recruitment start and end dates are as follows:

01 Sep 2021

31 Aug 2022

We will first talk to parents and health professionals to ask them: 1) how we can improve MapMe, and 2) what information we should collect to find out how MapMe is delivered and used. About 56,000 families who agree to take part in the NCMP across 9 Local Authorities will then be allocated by chance to one of 3 groups. Parents in each group will receive their child's NCMP results as usual, plus: Group 1 gets a letter with the paper-based MapMe body image scales and a link to the MapMe online materials after the NCMP measurement. Group 2 gets the same as Group 2 but also a booster letter 6 months later with a link to the MapMe online materials. Group 3 gets the standard NCMP measurement letters only. Groups 1 and 2 will be compared to group 3. All children will be weighed and measured again after 1 year. A selection of families will be invited to provide more information on child food intake and activity, and what help parents accessed, to help us understand how MapMe worked and if it is value for money. We will also ask some parents, and professionals who delivered MapMe, to tell us what they thought about it, and how it could be further improved. A Parent Involvement Panel has been created to ensure parents are involved across different stages of the research. To date members of a public involvement panel have played an important role in highlighting child overweight as a research priority and parents of primary school children have helped to shape the project and future public involvement.

Reception and Year 6 pupils (usual age 4 - 5 years and 10 - 11 years)

You can take part if:

1. All genders.2. Age range: Reception and Year 6 pupils (usual age 4-5y and 10-11y) only3. Participants are registered with a school in a Local Authority carrying out the National Child Measurement Programme, and part of the MapMe trial and not opted out of the NCMP by parent or carer.

You may not be able to take part if:

Parents of children aged 4-5 and 10-11 years, not part of or opting-out of the NCMP

Below are the locations for where you can take part in the trial. Please note that not all sites may be open.

  • Devon County Council
    County Hall Topsham Road
    EX2 4QD
  • Newcastle City Council
    Civic Centre
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 8QH
  • Durham County Council
    County Hall
    DH1 5UQ
  • Redcar & Cleveland Council
    Kirkleatham Street
    TS10 1RT
  • Middlesbrough Council
    PO Box 500
    TS1 9FT
  • North Tyneside Council
    Quadrant The Silverlink North Cobalt Business Park
    North Tyneside
    NE27 0BY
  • South Tyneside Council
    Town Hall And Civic Offices Westoe Road
    South Shields
    NE33 2RL
  • Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
    Municipal Buildings Church Road
    TS18 1LD
  • Isle of Wight Council
    Customer Service Centre County Hall High Street
    PO30 1UD
  • Coventry City Council
    Council House Earl Street
    CV1 5RR
  • Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
    Town Hall Oriel Road
    L20 7AE
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council
    Civic Centre Glebe Street
    Stoke on Trent
    ST4 1HH

Participants will not personally benefit from taking part. In the future, we will use the knowledge we get from this study to understand better how to communicate with parents about their child’s growth. Participants may find discussions about childhood weight status uncomfortable.

The study is sponsored by Newcastle University and funded by NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Co-ordinating Centre (NETSCC); National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (UK).

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for Trial ID: ISRCTN12378125

Or CPMS 49807

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