Use of IoT to tackle childhood obesity

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< Project Overview >

Research shows that maintaining a healthy weight in childhood can avoid obesity in later life. Increasing activity and general fitness, improving mental health, and promoting a healthy diet are all key areas to address in order to reduce future healthcare burdens.

The UK wide costs attributable to people being obese or overweight are projected to reach £9.7 billion per year by 2050. This project aims to look at the opportunities to identify and draw together IoT-enabled solutions to positively impact this at scale.

By working with partners and utilising existing programmes, the project aims to

  • Identify IoT-enabled solutions (e.g. activity trackers, etc.) that can be used to positively impact children/youth health
  •  Explore existing national and international activities that may inform this work and future scale up of the programme
  • Identify ethical and regulatory barriers to the use of IoT in this setting

Using this knowledge the project then aims to develop simple visualisations of IoT-derived data to support children to maintain healthy physical activity levels. Local stakeholders, such as schools, can then be provided with a series of modules to assist them in identifying and achieving this best practice.

In addition to working with partners to learn from existing schemes and experiences, the project will engage with technology companies to inform how IoT solutions could be used to collect information and feed into this dashboard system.

The project will initially be working with partners and looking into opportunities across Oxfordshire.


Project lead:

Dr Richard Harrington,  The University of Oxford

Project partners: 

View Oxfordshire Childhood Obesity Project Group’s recent report (PDF download)


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