obese children skipping
obese children skipping

Understanding Childhood Obesity

Evidence-based strategies to help children and adolescents to effectively lose weight

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Level 3 Understanding and Managing Childhood Obesity


All you need to do is complete the home study assessments, there's no practical attendance required.

  • Course type

    Online study

  • Time to qualify

    1-2 weeks

  • Entry requirements


  • Accreditations

    YMCA Approved Logo

One Nutrition Qualification. Endless Opportunities.

Arm yourself with the latest evidence-based information for tackling childhood obesity and join thousands of graduates working with some of the biggest gyms and institutions in the country.

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Level 3 Understanding and Managing Childhood Obesity

Levels of childhood obesity in the UK and other western countries are out of control. Equip yourself with the latest knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver safe and effective exercise and nutrition interventions to make a real impact.


Childhood obesity is a national emergency and the number of children that are either overweight or obese are at critical levels. According to data published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), around 31% of boys and 28% of girls are now classified as either overweight or obese. As children age and move towards adulthood, current trends indicate that body mass index (BMI) continues to rise exponentially, which perhaps explains why currently in the UK, more adults are now classified as overweight (36.2%) or obese (28.0%) than are of normal or low bodyweights (35.8%).

The effects of childhood obesity are considerable and far reaching, affecting the physical, mental, emotional and social health and wellbeing of these children and their families. Being overweight or obese as a child is also directly linked with poorer outcomes with regards to education and there is generally a lower quality of life for children that are overweight or obese.

Our Level 3 Understanding Childhood Obesity Course has been specifically created by leading exercise scientists, doctors, dieticians and nutritionists to ensure we deliver the very latest scientific evidence to you. Childhood obesity is a complex and multi-faceted problem that is far-reaching, and has a wide range of causes and consequences.

Course Structure:

Icon depicting online learning

Online learning

Tutor support

Learning support calls

Online learning

Online assessment

Treating obesity is far more complex than just managing energy intake through diet and energy expenditure through exercise and physical activity. This highly interactive and engaging online course will walk you through everything you need to know to make a meaningful impact to obese and overweight children.

This programme is the only course of this nature in the active leisure sector and it has been specifically created by a team of clinicians and exercise scientists to ensure you get the most accurate information available. To get the most out of this programme, we strongly advise that you take your time, digest and apply the information, before completing the online assessments.

Entry Requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course and even if you have no prior fitness qualifications or experience, you may still find this course valuable. However, the course does include quite a lot of technical anatomical, physiological and epidemiological information, so if you have no prior experience of these subjects, you may find the course a little more challenging.

What You'll Learn How You'll be Assessed Learning and Support Materials

What You'll Learn

If you want to be able to make a difference in this space then it is essential that you develop a strong technical understanding of the complex relationship between causes and consequences of obesity in children. You’ll also need to know which interventions are likely to be most effective, and which are not. Here’s a preview of some of the content you’ll learn on this course, although this list is far from exhaustive:

  • Introduction to Childhood Obesity

    Introduction to Childhood Obesity

    • Societal origins of childhood obesity
    • Defining causes and consequences
    • Simple strategies for tackling obesity in children
    • Historical view of obesity in children
    • Referring to other professionals
    • Mitigating strategies
  • Defining and Classifying Childhood Obesity

    Defining and Classifying Childhood Obesity

    • Fat cells, fat tissue and body fatness
    • Conceptual & operational definitions of obesity
    • Percentile method
    • BMI median method
    • Standard deviation method
    • Recommendations and practical examples
  • Causes and Consequences of Childhood Obesity

    Causes and Consequences of Childhood Obesity

    • Hyperplastic and hypertrophic adiposity
    • Genetics and childhood obesity risk
    • Pre and postnatal factors and influences
    • Dietary factors and influences
    • Exercise and physical activity
    • Sleep and other physiological influences
  • Measuring, Monitoring and Assessing Childhood Obesity

    Measuring, Monitoring and Assessing Childhood Obesity

    • Appropriate and inappropriate assessments
    • Somatotyping
    • Photoscopic observation
    • Different BMI formulas
    • Different waist circumference formulas
    • Identifying anomalies
  • Interventions for Managing Childhood Obesity

    Interventions for Managing Childhood Obesity

    • Limiting beliefs and attitudes
    • Barriers, compliance and progression
    • Overcoming barriers - general and specific
    • Managing food environments
    • Physical activity strategies
    • Sleep strategies

How You'll be Assessed

The course is assessed formatively throughout the course with a series of multiple-choice knowledge checks being presented from inside the eLearning modules. Once you’ve completed the eLearning, you’ll also need to complete an end of unit assessment to ensure you have retained the information you presented. You can re-take these assessments as often as you need to pass them.


Knowledge tests:

  • Multiple choice
  • Informal tone
  • Varied style

Online exam:

  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Unlimited re-sits
  • Open book

Learning and Support Materials

The course is delivered through a blend of eLearning, online lecture videos and interactive knowledge checks. You’ll also have access to our dedicated team of Learner Support Tutors if you need any extra help.

Technically rich, mobile friendly content
Online lectures on mobile

Interactive online learning

Interact with your learning content anytime, anyplace, anywhere with our mobile-friendly learner engagement system.

Trusted and authoritative content
Learn from experts

Developed by experts

This childhood obesity programme has been developed by leading clinical professionals and doctors.

Simplifying the complex
Learning materials for sports nutrition

Complex but easy to digest

Childhood obesity is a complex subject but our interactive eLearning is presented in a palatable and practical tone.

Extensive support materials
Online learner engagement system

Go broader and deeper

We’ll supply you with an extensive range of additional resources and materials to help you get your learning off to a flying start.

Unlimited learning support
Support tutor

We've got you

Our dedicated team of learner support tutors are on hand to help you if you need us.

*Images are for illustration purposes and may not depict specific course materials.

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