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How do local authority plans to tackle obesity reflect systems thinking?

How do local authority plans to tackle obesity reflect systems thinking?
How do local authority plans to tackle obesity reflect systems thinking?
Aims: a whole systems approach to tackling obesity has been recommended by Public Health England for several years. This qualitative study aimed to investigate whether systems thinking is reflected in local authority plans and strategies to tackle obesity, using the leverage points for intervention in a complex system, as a framework.

Method: we sought to identify obesity strategies/plans for Southampton and 19 other local authority comparators (based on children’s services and Office for National Statistics data). A healthy weight strategy was available for 10 local authorities and a qualitative document analysis was undertaken. The policy actions proposed in the plans were coded against the leverage points for intervention in a complex system and themes were developed to characterise interventions in each category.

Results: a majority of actions included in the plans were categorised as “Numbers, Constants and Parameters” which reflect downstream measures. However, there were examples of actions that could act on higher leverage points. In addition, some local authority plans included interventions that could act on 10 of the 12 leverage points suggesting incorporation of systems thinking.

Conclusions: some local authority plans to tackle obesity do reflect systems thinking when viewed through the lens of the leverage points for intervention in a complex system.
1757-9147
Taheem, Ravita
3a010e9a-6b28-4431-9026-1a8f7b265bdc
Woods-Townsend, Kathryn
af927fa3-30b6-47d9-8b4d-4d254b3a7aab
Lawrence, Wendy
e9babc0a-02c9-41df-a289-7b18f17bf7d8
Baird, Janis
f4bf2039-6118-436f-ab69-df8b4d17f824
Godfrey, Keith
0931701e-fe2c-44b5-8f0d-ec5c7477a6fd
Hanson, Mark
1952fad1-abc7-4284-a0bc-a7eb31f70a3f
Taheem, Ravita
3a010e9a-6b28-4431-9026-1a8f7b265bdc
Woods-Townsend, Kathryn
af927fa3-30b6-47d9-8b4d-4d254b3a7aab
Lawrence, Wendy
e9babc0a-02c9-41df-a289-7b18f17bf7d8
Baird, Janis
f4bf2039-6118-436f-ab69-df8b4d17f824
Godfrey, Keith
0931701e-fe2c-44b5-8f0d-ec5c7477a6fd
Hanson, Mark
1952fad1-abc7-4284-a0bc-a7eb31f70a3f

Taheem, Ravita, Woods-Townsend, Kathryn, Lawrence, Wendy, Baird, Janis, Godfrey, Keith and Hanson, Mark (2022) How do local authority plans to tackle obesity reflect systems thinking? Perspectives in Public Health. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aims: a whole systems approach to tackling obesity has been recommended by Public Health England for several years. This qualitative study aimed to investigate whether systems thinking is reflected in local authority plans and strategies to tackle obesity, using the leverage points for intervention in a complex system, as a framework.

Method: we sought to identify obesity strategies/plans for Southampton and 19 other local authority comparators (based on children’s services and Office for National Statistics data). A healthy weight strategy was available for 10 local authorities and a qualitative document analysis was undertaken. The policy actions proposed in the plans were coded against the leverage points for intervention in a complex system and themes were developed to characterise interventions in each category.

Results: a majority of actions included in the plans were categorised as “Numbers, Constants and Parameters” which reflect downstream measures. However, there were examples of actions that could act on higher leverage points. In addition, some local authority plans included interventions that could act on 10 of the 12 leverage points suggesting incorporation of systems thinking.

Conclusions: some local authority plans to tackle obesity do reflect systems thinking when viewed through the lens of the leverage points for intervention in a complex system.

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Accepted/In Press date: 25 May 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 457788
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/457788
ISSN: 1757-9147
PURE UUID: 48e78e58-70d9-4eb1-bcac-9411a898eb07
ORCID for Kathryn Woods-Townsend: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3376-6988
ORCID for Wendy Lawrence: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1264-0438
ORCID for Janis Baird: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4039-4361
ORCID for Keith Godfrey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4643-0618
ORCID for Mark Hanson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6907-613X

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Date deposited: 16 Jun 2022 17:01
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 01:55

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Contributors

Author: Ravita Taheem
Author: Wendy Lawrence ORCID iD
Author: Janis Baird ORCID iD
Author: Keith Godfrey ORCID iD
Author: Mark Hanson ORCID iD

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