Tackling Low-Income Obesity




Just over two months ago we launched a major national campaign for ASSIST FM to address the challenges of obesity in Scotland, especially in low-income areas where obesity levels are still rising alarmingly. We’re really happy to be involved in something that’s aiming to make a difference. 


Along with ASSIST FM, we wanted to promote a change in dietary and fitness habits that will have a positive effect on obesity in Scotland amongst secondary school pupils, their parents and the community. The official campaign launch was at Portobello High in Edinburgh and it was hugely successful, gaining UK national and Scottish national press and TV coverage. 

The campaign has included social media content and advertising, PR, online web development, a poster campaign, and email marketing. We realise that although the campaign will run, at least, until December 2018 we will not see an immediate change in people’s attitudes. However, we wanted to make a connection with them, and over the campaign life we want to get school pupils and their families across Scotland making small changes to their lives.


If the campaign as a whole was to be successful we knew that we would have to talk in a language that the target market understood. Finding Jordan as one of our presenters was important, and he has been a superb ambassador for Inch by Inch for Scotland.


Inch By Inch For Scotland - Jordan

We manage all Inch by Inch for Scotland social media channels and content creation for the website: www.inchbyinchforscotland.co.uk  including video series’ racking up over 70 videos in just these short few months. The response so far has been much better than we had initially projected, even on a very limited budget, something which ASSIST FM is very proud of.


Inch By Inch For Scotland - Rothsay Academy Cooking Demonstration


Educatering Magazine has featured the campaign in a two-page spread, and The Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, Dr Catherine Calderwood, has talked up the campaign in a Radio Scotland interview. Jordan has also appeared on the Kay Adams show for a 15-minute slot which created a buzz for the campaign as a whole.

Now, the Scottish Government has released its consultation paper on Obesity –Improving Scotland’s Health – A Healthier Future. 

We caught up with the Inch by Inch for Scotland Ambassador– Alistair Macintyre, to see how the actions taken by Inch by Inch measure up against the government’s obesity plan:

The overarching aim of the Scottish Government is to create a fairer Scotland and reduce inequality. It is not fair that those with the poorest health outcomes are those living in poverty. The obesity strategy will seek to prioritise work with families in poverty and on low incomes to design services and approaches that meet their specific needs and are impactful.

Our campaign is aimed at low-income families and pupils. Our roadshows are visiting schools in low income areas. Jordan has spoken to groups of pupils with social issues at Portobello High and in Rothesay.

Our plans for maternal and infant health, building on our achievements through the Maternal and Infant Nutritional Framework, are therefore integral to this strategy and the action we propose for improving diet and weight.

The NHS Midwifery Department, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has communicated with us and we hope to meet them in January to discuss the creation of content for young expectant mother classes, many of whom are obese at the early stages of pregnancy.

In our schools, through the Curriculum for Excellence, every child and young person in Scotland is entitled to a broad general education which includes learning about food and health.

We are doing this through our series of roadshows and will be creating a themed Inch by Inch for Scotland Week when the school caterers will be serving many of the dishes that are being shown in the Inch by Inch for Scotland social media campaign.

We will use social marketing, building on Eat Better Feel Better, to help young families and other groups – such as teenagers and young people leaving home for the first time – improve the way they shop, cook and eat.

Our campaign is based on social media content targeted directly at these groups.



The Active Scotland Outcomes Framework sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for an active nation. Physical activity is about getting people moving. Daily walking, playing in a park, going to a gym, training with a team, or aspiring to win a gold medal – it doesn’t matter how people get active it just matters that we do. We want more people to be more active, more often.

We are highlighting this in all our exercise based content, using NHS exercise routines.

We also filmed Andrew Macintyre earlier this month, a young man with Down’s syndrome who has battled weight issues and overcome them to win four gold medals at the Special Olympics.

We need to create a whole nation approach that improves Scotland’s weight and diet and gets us more active. This will demand strong leadership and broad commitment, as well as ambitious and progressive action right across the system. We will need to build the will and momentum, at national and local levels, to support and implement bold policies.

Our campaign is Scotland-wide and is gaining momentum. Our interactions with people on social media is coming from a wide geographic area across the whole of Scotland.

An important part of the leadership role is leading by example. Whether as individuals, employers, service providers or purchasers of goods and services, there are many different ways in which the public, private and voluntary sectors can do this.

We have already had fantastic support from Muller, CRB Cunningham’s, KeyStore, Filshill, Kained Group, and Volvic.



In summation, the Scottish Government consultation document is posing many questions, and we believe that many of these are being tackled by Inch by Inch for Scotland at present.

We are, after all, aiming for the same outcomes as the Scottish Government. Our strapline ’Towards a Healthier Future’ has even been utilised in the consultation document – ‘Improving Scotland’s Health – A Healthier Future’.  Aileen Campbell MSP for Clydesdale and Minister for Public Health & Sport, and Willie Rennie, MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has also supported our campaign on Twitter and we have had great endorsements from the celebrities such as Cyrus Todiwala and Gary McLean, Scotland’s new National Chef.

Please sign up to support the campaign at www.inchbyinchforscotland.co.uk. We’ll send you regular updates and the more support we get the more impact the campaign will have across Scotland.