Understanding childhood obesity course

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

Child skipping outside with skipping rope
Child skipping outside with skipping rope

The industry's first childhood obesity course

This course explores the strategies to help tackle 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:


YMCA Awards Logo White

Book your place for only £195

Course overview: Understanding 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 to the health and quality of life of children and adolescents.

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 multifaceted problem that is far-reaching, and has a wide range of causes and consequences.

Treating obesity is far more complex than just managing energy intake through diet and energy expenditure through exercise and physical activity. This course is entirely self-led, with an engaging and eye-opening manual, accompanied with online worksheets. It will walk you through everything you need to know to make a meaningful impact to obese and overweight children.

This course is an excellent CPD opportunity for fitness professionals who want to achieve a holistic understanding of weight management and obesity.

  • 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 physiological and epidemiological information, so if you have no prior experience of these subjects, you may find the course a little more challenging.

  • Accreditations

    This Level 3 Understanding and Managing Childhood Obesity course is fully accredited by the YMCA Awards.

  • Exclusive to HFE

    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.

  • Learning materials

    This childhood obesity programme has been developed by leading clinical professionals and doctors to ensure the content is trusted and authoritative. We've simplified complex content with vibrant resources and mobile friendly content, so this course is manageable anytime, anyplace.

Payment Options

Our commitment to excellence enables us to provide programmes which are unparalleled in quality and which range in flexibility and accessibility.

Our years of experience within the fitness sector have allowed us to craft an ‘understanding and managing childhood obesity’ certification which is content-rich while also being fairly priced.

Special Offers, Discounts and Deals

We are committed to quality, fairness and transparency, which is why we openly list our course prices on our website for all to see. We don’t engage in discounting, bargaining or deal-making and our price promise ensures that all our students pay the same fair price for their training and qualifications.

Pay in Full


Get a 5% prompt payment discount on orders with a value over £200.

Purchase Order


Provide a purchase order on enrolment
and settle the invoice within 30 days*

*Only available for business bookings and subject to the appropriate due diligence.

You're in safe hands

Throughout this course you'll have your own personal support tutor who will be more than happy to assist. They'll be there to help you with course content or even career guidance. You can arrange to speak with your support tutor via:

  • Email

  • Phone

  • Video call

  • Webinar

HFE support tutor on phone in HFE head office

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

    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

    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

    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

    Appropriate and inappropriate assessments
    Photoscopic observation
    Different BMI formulas
    Different waist circumference formulas
    Identifying anomalies

  • 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

HFE Doctor leading nutrition lecture shown on iPhone screen

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

One nutrition course, 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.

Nuffield health logo
Places Leisure logo
David Lloyd logo
Virgin active logo
Bannatyne logo
The Gym Group Logo

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.

HFE theory test on MacBook screen


  • Multiple choice
  • Interactive
  • Varied style


  • Multiple choice
  • Need 100% to pass
  • Unlimited resits


  • Embedded into course
  • Various styles
  • Informal tone

Keep in touch

Stay up to date with health and fitness updates, exciting opportunities, discounts and offers.

Thank you for signing up. If you have any questions, you can reach out to our friendly careers team who will be happy to hear from you by calling the number at the top of the page.

Request more information

Back to top