Communications specialist for good
Chicken and Chips.jpg

Shift/ Tackling Child Obesity

Tom's mum said,  “I know the food isn’t healthy but it’s quick and what the kids like. They’re starving after school and need to eat.”

Tom's mum said, “I know the food isn’t healthy but it’s quick and what the kids like. They’re starving after school and need to eat.”

 
 

shift/TACKLING CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Cities and towns across the UK are dominated by chicken and chip shops offering young people fatty food on a daily basis for very little money, fuelling the rise in child obesity. Working with behaviour change social enterprise Shift, Helen undertook ethnographic insight work into young people's love of the chicken shop.

She worked in the heart of communities in Birmingham and East London, with documentary photographer Finn Taylor and Community Ambassador Terence Wallen. Initially based within the chicken shops, the work then moved into a deep dive of the lives of some of the young people in the communities. 

From the insight work, Helen recommended that rather than demonising chicken shops and wanting to shut them down, they should be embraced and transformed. Chicken shops offer young people a place where they are welcomed, where the days dramas can be played out and dissected. The stunning photography and narratives of the lives of young people have since been used repeatedly to highlight the opportunities and challenges young people face in order to live healthy lives.

As a result of the work, Shift is now piloting a series of mobile chicken shops offering tasty but healthier chicken - so far serving 2711 meals to more than 200 young people. 

All images courtesy of Finn Taylor/DMB Represents.


Ethnographic Insight including:

  • Grassroots access to communities
  • Recruitment of all young people
  • Objective and question setting
  • Consent and ethics considerations
  • Photographic, audio and written case studies
  • Analysis, insight and recommendations
 
 
Tessa,  “It tastes really nice, and the people that serve are really nice. He gives me free food, his dad owns the place."

Tessa, “It tastes really nice, and the people that serve are really nice. He gives me free food, his dad owns the place."

Kamil, "It's cheap and tasty. I don't know if it's healthy, I don't think about that."

Kamil, "It's cheap and tasty. I don't know if it's healthy, I don't think about that."

Aailyah,  “It’s cheap and my mates come here. I’d still come here if the food tasted bad as long as my mates came here.”

Aailyah, “It’s cheap and my mates come here. I’d still come here if the food tasted bad as long as my mates came here.”