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The Administrative Data Research Network is an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 - July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, to be launched later in 2018.

The effects of BMI feedback on childhood weight loss

Research overview

The research team will examine whether giving parents this information is more effective for some groups than for others (taking into account gender, distance from school).

The World Health Organisation has identified that a child who is overweight or obese in childhood presents one of the most serious public health challenges in the world. Governments are trying to tackle the problem – but there is not enough evidence yet on whether different interventions work.

The researchers aim to publish a journal paper, to present their findings to the Department of Health, local government and public health authorities, and to work with them on disseminating the results.

This research will inform policy makers on whether the feedback element of the NCMP is achieving its intended aims and whether BMI feedback is an effective tool for helping children to lead healthier lives. The research will be of use to inform the design of health screening programmes.


The findings of this study will help to understand whether personalised BMI feedback works in tackling child obesity – and whether it is worth the distress caused to some families.

Government departments  

This study will use data from the Office for National Statistics and Department for Communities and Local Government.

Date approved 

April 2016

Lead researcher

Dr Will Cook, Manchester Metropolitan University

Page last updated: 24/10/2017