Promoting healthy nutrition in children of Bangladeshi origin in East London


Bangladeshi children living in east London have a much higher risk of poor nutrition and obesity than the average child in the UK, and so are more likely to develop longer-term health problems and chronic diseases such as heart disease, poor oral health and diabetes.

Nurture Early for Optimal Nutrition (NEON) is a community-based approach to mobilise local communities to help improve nutrition when a child is 6 months - 2 years old, a key time in their development.

This community-led approach identified several practices and factors that could be targeted to improve children's health:

  • specific cultural beliefs (e.g. ‘chubby equals healthy’), and modifiable practices (e.g. a tendency to over feed and preference for fast food)
  • environmental factors such as fast-food outlets and advertising. First-time parents were especially keen to have more support and information from health professional
  • cultural behaviours such as that hand feeding by parents is seen as a symbol of love for the child and may continue for years, potentially causing over-feeding.

Project details: Promoting healthy nutrition in children of Bangladeshi origin in East London


Overall, there has been improved nutrition and feeding practices, maternal and neonatal survival rates, overall

The research has influenced Tower Hamlets and Newham Local Authority early year programmes.

The NEON film has been included in The Birthing a Better Future Art & Science Exhibition, aimed at raising awareness of the crucial first two years of life, currently touring the UK.

Download and share the impacts of the NEON programme

Contact: Prof Monica Lakhanpaul

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