schoolchildren in India waving

What we do‌‌‌

Our mission is to produce high-quality research that will improve health and wellbeing of children, both in the UK and internationally. Wellbeing goes beyond a mere absence of illness and links physical, mental and emotional health with the ability to be resilient or bounce back in adverse circumstances.

The Child Health Unit was set up by Professor Sonia Saxena in 2013. We mainly use routinely collected data from the NHS, analyse large government surveys and comprehensive literature reviews to understand rapidly emerging health problems in the child population that will inform practice policy and public awareness.

The starting point for all of our research is to address problems identified by children, young people and parents and health professionals who care for them. Our work has been included in national and international guidelines and policy and has attracted public interest. We collaborate widely with clinicians and policymakers and third sector agencies to get information out into the wider community in the UK, Europe and international arenas.

‌Why it is important

Children are healthier today than at any time in history, but many child deaths are still preventable and the world population is living longer in ill health from long-term conditions such as diabetes, obesity and cancer. Better information is needed to understand how best to promote healthy behaviours so children remain healthy and improve preventative programmes to reduce the global burden disease in the population.