Art in health and education

Funding is a barrier to tackling childhood obesity in the South East

A creative approach to a healthier future – Planet Munch Healthy Lifestyle Programme has evidence to show reduced BMI and BP for participating children but it’s proving difficult to secure funding for the continuation of the programme.

Savour the Flavour – Planet Munch Musical Puppet Show

Back in 2008 Trim Tot’s journey into tackling one of the biggest threats to Public Health began in South Oxhey Hertfordshire. Planet Munch, community-based healthy lifestyle programme working with children between 1 and 5 and their caregivers to reduce obesity was developed and delivered by a team of experts in early years nutrition from the UCL, GOS, Institute of Child Health and a team of community artists.

Planet Munch features puppets, dance-based music and movement, creative play, arts and interactive nutrition sessions where adult and child learn together. It is creative, fun and supports healthy lifestyle choices.

Planet Munch has been evaluated in two randomised controlled trials and shown to be effective at reducing obesity risk and improve health outcomes in preschool children (aged 1-5 years), in spite of solid evidence (published as an abstract in the Lancet), proven need and multiple delivery partners the programme is struggling to secure funding.

Trim Tots CIC was later formed to make Planet Munch more widely available to families and after recent success at Edith Neville in Somerstown, Camden, Trim Tots CIC is working with partners to make the programme available across the UK.


‘Trim Tots provides an interactive, fun and engaging programme that goes beyond supporting and improving healthy lifestyles for families, it helps bring families together too. The sessions are creative, interactive and fun and ensure that families participate together. Our families often drop out of long-term programmes but Trim Tots kept the families attending each week, we would love to be able to continue to offer the programme but are hampered by lack of funds.’

Amy Hagemann – Family Centre Manager – Edith Neville Primary School

‘There is no one size fits all solution to childhood obesity and initiatives are urgently needed.  Planet Munch is one such initiative with RCT evidence to show it is effective at reducing the risk of childhood obesity in the UK.  Support from Central Government, Local Authorities and Community Organisations is urgently needed to develop a combined approach to ensure that all children have the best possible nutritional start in life.’

Dr Julie Lanigan RD PhD MBDA – Principal Research Fellow, Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, UCL, GOS, Institute of Child Health.

For more information about Planet Munch Healthy Lifestyle Programme please visit Trim Tots CIC –