Tackling Scotland’s Young Obesity Problem, Inch By Inch

Tackling Scotland’s Young Obesity Problem, Inch By Inch

When ASSIST FM asked us to devise a national obesity campaign aimed at pupils and families in low income areas around Scotland, we knew that it would be a hard task.  We looked at many current and past campaigns and initiatives, and inevitably most were aimed across all socio-economic groups. However, it is in the low income areas that we are seeing these figures continue to rise – not just for obesity but also, unfortunately in this day and age, for malnutrition and child hunger.


Scotland is second in the world for negative obesity figures. As school caterers, ASSIST FM knew that they had to target the wider community. If a pupil eats a school lunch every day, they would still only be eating 17.8% of their overall intake in the school. 82.2% of food intake is outside the school gates. We launched Inch by Inch for Scotland in September 2017 and it will run to at least December 2018, although we hope to extend the campaign.


Inch by Inch for Scotland is a campaign aimed at reducing obesity by creating positive content aimed at teenagers and families. The core idea is to encourage teenagers and parents to make a small change or to take part in a small activity (food or exercise related) that will hopefully create an incremental change where people want to live healthier lives.


Since September we have created over 70 videos, the campaign website, social media channels, and printed material for secondary schools and shops across Scotland.

Because our target market are mostly pupils and families from low-income areas we have created content that appeals to them. We have used Jordan Docherty as one of our main presenters – a young man who has been in prison and has had a very troubled background, but with the help of Action for Children Scotland, has got his life back on track and is now holding down a catering job.



Social media has been an incredibly important part of this campaign. In a few short months, Inch By Inch for Scotland has hit some great stats on their social media channels, including over 100k video views and over 50k minutes of video views..


As well as this we have had coverage of the campaign in The Times, STV coverage Lunchtime and Evening News, and two 15 minute interviews on BBC Radio Scotland. We have also had coverage in every national Scottish newspaper.


School roadshows have taken place so far in Edinburgh, the Isle of Bute, and Aberdeen, and we have roadshows currently planned for Arran, Dumbarton, Kilmarnock, Kirkcaldy, Glasgow, and Stirling. And we’ve have great feedback so far!



Paul Carberry, Director for Service Development, Action for Children Scotland wrote;

‘Not sure if you heard about Jordan’s latest news. Our media guy Craig fixed him up a meeting with BBC Social. They have offered Jordan paid work presenting Online programmes on cooking and will train him as a presenter with a view to presenting BBC television programmes. There is a god!!! That in itself is some outcome for SG on Inch by Inch. At this rate you should be going for campaign of the year (Seriously)’


Cyrus Todiwala, BBC Presenter and Restaurateur

'A Programme such as this ought to go UK Wide and I hope it does just that. I have signed up and will also post these from our channels to a wider audience. Hopefully it will be a massive success. Good luck and wish you all the very best.'


Cleland Sneddon, CEO Argyle & Bute Council

'The Rothesay Roadshow was a fantastic example of how a school can take on the core message of the campaign and utilise these messages within the school curriculum. I'm going to taking part in some of these challenges and so is our Senior Management Team so watch out for future blogs and vlogs showing how we are getting on with those.'


NB See our case study on Inch by inch for Scotland at www.inchbyinchforscotland.co.uk