1st Edition

Supporting Childhood Obesity in Schools A Guidebook for 'Down Mount Kenya on a Tea Tray'

By Plum Hutton, Kate Rennie Copyright 2022
    80 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    This guidebook, designed to be used alongside the storybook Down Mount Kenya on a Tea Tray, has been created to inform readers about the physical, social and psychological impacts of childhood obesity.

    Created for busy parents, teachers and professionals, this book is founded upon recent research and written in an engaging and accessible style. Chapters explain the surprisingly complex causes of childhood obesity and highlight that children often have little control over the factors that may lead them to become obese. The physical and psychological consequences of obesity are explored and strategies suggested, ranging from individual and family support to changes that need to be made at a societal level to tackle this significant public health issue.

    Key features include:

    • an accessible guide to childhood obesity

    • chapter-by-chapter discussion points for use with Down Mount Kenya on a Tea Tray to encourage open and honest conversations about childhood obesity and its effects

    • strategies to support obese children and their families to sustain positive lifestyle changes.

    This is an essential resource for parents, teachers and other professionals looking to understand childhood obesity and support children aged 8–12.

    Introduction  A note on the Language used in this Guide  Synopsis of Down Mount Kenya on a Tea Tray  The Main Messages in Down Mount Kenya on a Tea Tray  Understanding Childhood Obesity  What is Childhood Obesity  Why is Childhood Obesity a Concern  The Causes of Childhood Obesity  Medical and Genetic Causes  Other Environmental Factors  Psychological Causes  The Interaction between Psychological Issues and Childhood Obesity  Anxiety, Depression and Self-esteem  Emotional Regulation and Conduct Issues  Parental Mental Health and Parenting Style  Stigmatisation and Bullying  Covid and the Psychological Impact on Obesity  Conclusion about the Psychological Impacts of Obesity  Using Down Mount Kenya on a Tea Tray to Promote discussion  Supporting Childhood Obesity  The Weight Set-Point  Change at the Individual Level  The Main Messages to Aid Weight Loss for a Child  Change at the Family Level  Change at the Community Level  Changes Needed by Society  Conclusion  References


    Plum Hutton is a chartered educational psychologist and former learning support teacher. She holds a doctorate in educational psychology. She has more than 15 years of experience working as a local authority educational psychologist and latterly has transferred to independent practice.

    Through her work she has pursued and delivered training on many areas of professional interest, including supporting children with persistent anxiety, attachment difficulties, literacy difficulties and sensory processing differences.

    Plum is a keen storyteller. She has gathered inspiration for her writing from her work, the challenges of parenthood and also through a nomadic existence as an Army wife, which has taken her to many locations across the UK and as far afield as East Africa.

    Kate Rennie is a GP, working within the NHS and Army medical services. Prior to studying medicine, she completed a psychology degree and also taught primary school age children. The triad of doctor, psychologist and teacher has given her valuable experience, working with children (and adults) in a variety of situations.

    She has moved frequently around the UK with her Army husband, settling for a few years to do her medical training in London and then Edinburgh. She currently lives in London, works in Surrey, but travels frequently to Scotland to spend time in the beautiful Scottish Borders.

    "Childhood obesity is a complex, often emotionally charged topic which can be incredibly difficult to broach. The guide opens the conversation in a gentle, accessible yet thorough and well-evidenced way. It helps those keen to learn, but struggling to know where to start, understand and navigate this challenging and rapidly developing area of children’s health and wellbeing. Thoroughly recommended."

    Dr Kirsty Hunter MBBCh MRCGP


    "[This] Obesity Guide is extremely thorough and provides both important factual information about obesity as well as useful strategies to use the story as a teaching aid."

    Emma Morton, Educational Consultant, Nairobi


    "Dr Rennie and Dr Hutton's book provides a straightforward, up-to-date overview of childhood obesity. The book is written in clear, easy-to-read language that will appeal to a wide range of readers. I recommend this book to anyone interested in childhood obesity, its causes and possible solutions."

    Dr J Topalian, MBChb, RCGP 2016