Healthy Body Image for Children and Young People Advisory Group minutes: October 2019

Minutes from the third meeting of the Advisory Group on 24 October 2019.

Attendees and apologies


  • Julie Cameron (Co-Chair) 
  • Katie Reid (Co-Chair) 
  • Rachel Thomson
  • Fariha Thomas 
  • Helen Forrest 
  • Petya Eckler 
  • Frances Duffy 
  • Helen Sharpe 

Secretariat and Policy Officials from the Scottish Government were also present


  • Fiona Duffy
  • Carolyn Fox McKay
  • Simita Kumar
  • Leanne Ferries

Items and actions

13:00 – Welcome 

The Chairs welcomed everyone to the third meeting of the Advisory Group.

13:05 – Minutes of the previous meeting 

The Group cleared the minutes of the second meeting with no amendments.

The Group discussed action points agreed from the second meeting which still needed to be completed. 


  • Katie to circulate BEAT school visit material
  • Julie to share Women and Girls Advisory Group material
  • Secretariat to share presentations from the second meeting
  • Secretariat to follow up with Scottish Government Diet and Healthy Weight Team
  • Leanne to request question thread to be put on Childline website: “What does good or healthy body image mean to you?”
  • Leanne to share links for counselling for young people

13:15 – Public health approaches

Rachel presented a PowerPoint to the Group on the “Public Health Approaches to Body Image” which covered the four step approach of defining the problem, identifying risk factors, designing, implementing and evaluating prevention strategies and the final implementation of interventions.

The Group discussed the balance between body image messages and public health messages which are sometimes conflicting. The Group agreed to consider body functionality and how a person feels rather than how someone’s body looks or their weight. The Group also discussed the use of BMI and the importance of what language we use when we are discussing weight.

The Group also discussed the importance of how weight and body image is discussed within the family, and how this impacts on children and young people.


  • Rachel to share presentation with the group
  • Scottish Government Policy Official to share the questions related to body image that have been included in the new school census with the group, and send an update on the timings of when this will roll out in schools
  • Helen and Petya to share their table of research with the Group and Julie
  • Rachel to share table of current policy with Julie

13:45 – Break

14:05 – Existing resources 

Julie and Katie led discussion on existing resources available for body image issues.

Julie discussed the new Mental Health and Wellbeing SVQ Level 4 & 5. This qualification doesn’t explicitly mention body image but offers the flexibility to look at it through experience based learning. There were concerns raised about how this was being offered throughout Scotland due to issues with support for teachers to implement. 

Julie and Katie also discussed the BeReal campaign which came about after the UK Government held an All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image from 2011-12. 

The full report can be found here.

The Group discussed the recommendations that the report produced and agreed that the majority were still relevant to their work. Julie and Katie also mentioned the importance of the Group producing recommendations that described the ‘How’ to do things rather than just describing the ‘What’ needed to change. Julie agreed to follow this report up to find out how the recommendations were taken forward.

The Group also mentioned the importance of recommendations that cover equalities, support for families/parents/carers and the intersectionality of body image concerns and other factors in children and young people’s lives. 


  • Julie to contact Chair of the All Parliamentary Group on Body Image to discuss the recommendations and how these were taken forward since their publication in 2012
  • Helen S to contact Phillippa Diedrichs

14:50 – Potential site visits and additional meetings 

The group discussed potential site visits and their purpose as well as holding additional meetings with guests.

It was agreed by the Group that they would seek further information about what training is offered to teachers, youth workers, doctors, etc. around body image and self-esteem.  

The group agreed that site visits were to gather examples of best practice that they could present in their final report to the Scottish Government.

Katie updated the Group about the potential to invite some social media influencers to attend the December meeting.


  • Julie to email the Group to remind them to contact their networks about what support is offered to children and young people around body image concerns
  • Katie to continue contact with social media influencers and enquire about them attending a future meeting
  • Katie to contact school regarding best practice and to ensure children and young people are engaged
  • Julie to enquire with LGBT Youth Scotland about links with youth groups to discuss body image
  • Katie to contact her college LGBT Resource Officer about links with youth support groups
  • Katie to follow up with her college LGBT Resource Officer about availability for future meetings
  • Helen F to look into youth groups/organisations relating to long term health conditions
  • Petya to contact Strathclyde University colleagues about whether any body image related training is included in teacher training
  • Fariha to contact Annette Coburn at the University of West of Scotland for information on teacher training and body image
  • Rachel to contact Health Scotland as to who leads on obesity work
  • Helen F to share long term health condition contacts
  • Petya to look into ASA work on body image, with Julie to contact her colleague for contribution

15:20 – AOB

The group discussed links with existing body image recommendations that were previously published, and whether to build on this existing work.

Julie and Katie discussed the final product that the Group would be producing early next year. Due to the link with social media and the target audience of the final recommendations the Group agreed that the final product should be more interesting and creative than simply a written report. The Group agreed with this.  

The group agreed to produce a visual piece of work as well as physical recommendations. 


  • Secretariat to enquire with FACE Equality about availabilities for future meetings
  • Julie to discuss with Scottish Government policy officials about the final output of the Group, including any further resource implications
  • Katie to follow up with CAPS Advocacy
  • Secretariat to send diary invites for remaining meetings

15:30 – Close 

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