Tackling childhood obesity

Empower parents to curb a distant problem with small achievable steps.


Childhood Obesity in Ireland has reached epidemic proportions. 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese. As a result, children have a higher risk of developing serious illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.


We knew that scaring parents or threatening them about the seriousness of this issue was not going to get us the results that were required. We needed to ensure that our communication would help parents to recognize the problem if it affects their child. We needed to give parents simple and helpful solutions. Our idea focused on empowering parents to get to grips with a seemingly intractable problem by means of small, achievable steps. We created a campaign that focused on a number of key messages:

Smaller portion sizes,

Say 'no' to treats in the supermarket and at home.

Substitute water for sugary drinks.

Ensure your children get 60 minutes of activity a day.

Ensure your children get sufficient sleep and aren't affected by excessive screen time.

We used a multimedia strategy, first driving awareness using television, radio and outdoor. For online communciation, we created a conversation on #bringbackplay with social and video content that supported parents in achieving the '60 minutes' activity goal'. Our safefood website was choc-a-block with content to support parents across all of these challenges, providing useful and engaging content.


So far, the results for the Childhood Obesity campaign have been impressive, across the North and South of Ireland.

78% of parents felt the communication motivated them to think differently about managing childhood obesity.

On the metric, 'these ads contain new information about how to prevent childhood obesity' 80% of parents agreed.

The overall effect of this three-year strategy will be felt in years to come as the effect of behaviour change starting now impacts on the statistic that 'one in four children are overweight or obese'. We're on a fantastic brand journey to reduce childhood obesity. We're glad to say that the team at safefood are very passionate about its effectiveness and success so far.