Children's Health Special Interest Group

Focus and purpose

To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, information and best practice for those interested in the application of behavioural medicine to the early modification of children’s lifestyle behaviours encompassing the broader factors that influence children’s social, emotional and cognitive development, and the interventions that can improve them.
By bringing together researchers, clinicians, third sector organisations and public/patient representatives to facilitate the exchange of information exploring the complex relationship between children’s lifestyle behaviours, wellbeing and health, and including individual-level, population-level and multi-level interventions, the SIG aims to enhance networks and collaborations as an opportunity to decrease risks of developing non-communicable diseases in adulthood.
Planned activities
  • Holding conference symposia, webinars, and one-day meetings to raise the profile of relevant work focused on children, their behaviours and their environments
  • Supporting liaison between UKSBM and other national and international professional organisations relevant to children’s lifestyle behaviours
  • Supporting UKSBM mentoring scheme
  • Disseminating relevant topic updates and information to members
  • Facilitating connection between the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) GENIUS network, focused on health-promoting food and nutrition systems in UK schools; the UKPRP MatCHNet network, focused on the evaluation of the impact of national maternal and early years policies on adverse child health outcomes; and the UKPRP ActEarly consortium, which aims to improve the life chances of children by focusing on improving the environments that influence their health


There will be a Children’s Lifestyle Behaviours, Wellbeing and Health SIG meeting at the UKSBM Annual Scientific Meeting, 28th and 29th March 2023, focusing on ‘Weight management for children – current discussions’. Please follow the link to find out more about the UKSBM ASM and to register your attendance:

Past Events

Accelerating Impact: Maximising the usefulness of research evidence, October 2021

Professor Mike Clarke is Director of the Northern Ireland Methodology Hub and Northern Ireland Clinical Trials Unit and has spent more than 30 years working in rigorous  evaluations of health and social care including many randomised trials and systematic reviews. In this talk, he discussed some of the key issues to consider when designing and conducting research, to ensure that it has an impact and that the findings are used in practice. Mike used a variety of examples to illustrate, for example, the value of carefully choosing the research question, keeping things simple and collaboration.

Webinar recording

Establishing positive food behaviours in children, January 2021
Online meeting held as part of the UKSBM ASM 2021 and included the following presentations:
“Experiential Learning in Acquiring Food Preferences in Early Life” (Prof Marion Hetherington, School of Psychology, University of Leeds)
Creating the conditions for healthy food cultures in secondary schools; a co-created health promoting school process” (Camilla McHugh, Research Fellow Children’s Health and Maternity, University of Exeter)
The impact of social media influencer promotion of foods on children’s healthy food choices and consumption” (Dr Anna Coates, Postgraduate Research Assistant, Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool).
Current issues in school food, September 2020

Webinar meeting which included the following presentations:

Packed Lunches: A repeated cross-sectional survey assessing changes in diet and nutrient quality of English primary school children’s packed lunches between 2006 and 2016” and “The effectiveness of lunchbox interventions on improving the foods and beverages packed and consumed by children at centre-based care or school: a systematic review and meta-analysis” (both Dr Charlotte Evans, Associate Professor, University of Leeds),

Lockdown Lunches: Are packed lunches still the norm or are family meals now the dish of the day?” (Dr Laura Johnston, Associate Professor, University of Bristol),

Successful dietary interventions in the secondary school setting: A systematic review of systematic reviews” (Dr Tess Capper, Research Fellow , Queen’s University Belfast)

An exploration of adolescents’ dietary intake: comparison of food and nutrient intake between pupils purchasing food at school vs. elsewhere during the school day and over a 24 hour period” (Rhona Duff, Research Associate, University of Birmingham)