Research type 
Year of report 

Summary of findings

  • There was a positive response to the NCMP and all respondents were happy to have their children measured
  • It was seen as important to disseminate information about healthy lifestyle choices for children, even if much of this is regarded as common-sense
  • There were some questions about the measurement process itself, the overall purpose of the NCMP and what will be done with data collected
  • Other issues related to language, confidentiality and the perceived ‘downgrading’ of under-weight children as a problem (compared to those who are over-weight)
  • Overall, interest in the NCMP was clear across the sample and support for its aims was consistently high

Research objectives

  • Understand how parents want the information about their child's weight presented to them
  • Identify concerns parents may have about the information within the letters and leaflets
  • Gauge understanding of the content and meaning of the information in terms of the National Child Measurement Programme [NCMP] programme, where to go for further information and the healthy living tips
  • Understand what expectations parents have as a result of receiving the letters



The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) was established in 2005 as a joint collaboration between the Department of Health and the Department of Children, Schools and Families The NCMP collects large scale statistical data on the height and weight of children in Reception (aged 4-5 years) and in Year 6 (aged 10-11 years).

The aim of the NCMP is to:

  • inform local planning and delivery of services for children
  • gather population-level surveillance data to allow analysis of trends in growth patterns and obesity
  • help to increase public and professional understanding of weight issues in children

Research participants


This study spoke to parents of children in reception and year 6 classes.

Audience Summary





General population - the report states that there was a good mix of ethnic backgrounds within all groups



Not specified

Social Class

  • A
  • B
  • C1
  • C2
  • D
  • E


Data collection methodology

Focus groups

Other data collection methodology


A total of four focus group discussions were conducted (duration 1.5 hours), with 8 respondents per group. All respondents were parents. There was an equal mix of males and females and ethnic groups were represented.

Sample size


4 focus groups

Detailed region


Not specified

Fieldwork dates


Not specified – Reported July 2008

Agree to publish



Research agency

Research Works

COI Number


Report format