Motherhood in Western Europe

Insights from Western European Mothers

The changing face of motherhood — Western Europe

The accompanying reports combine a review of existing literature with an analysis of original quantitative data derived from a poll of 9,582 mothers from 12 countries in Western Europe, making it one of the largest studies of this kind ever conducted

Child Obesity and Health

An analysis of the latest available data from the Health Survey for England (HSE)

Child Obesity and Health — download the full report in pdf format

In this ‘National Childhood Obesity Week’, the SIRC report, Children, obesity and heath: Recent trends, holds up a true mirror, accurately reflecting the trend towards slimmer, healthier children. more

The Future of Freemasonry

An examination of the role of Freemasonry in the 21st century


This report is, as far as we know, an account of the first ever study that has been commissioned by Freemasons from a non-Masonic body. None of the SIRC members involved in the project are Freemasons, a fact that evoked surprise and welcome in equal measure from the Lodge members we met. more

The Changing Face of Motherhood

Insights from three generations of mothers


The report seeks to answer some specific questions about the changing face of motherhood and determine the extent to which modern ‘solutions’ to motherhood are more or less beneficial than the solutions of the past. more

School meals: a new diet of reason

Congratulations to the Food Standards Agency for ensuring that the new government guidelines on school meals are sensible, realistic and – perhaps most importantly – avoid the prescriptive moralising that has characterised so much health promotion in the past.

SIRC has repeatedly warned health promotion bodies about the dangers of banning or attempting to restrict consumption of so-called 'unhealthy' foods – particularly where children are concerned, as this creates a counter-productive 'forbidden-fruit effect', whereby children's desire for the banned or restricted product is increased, and they are likely to consume much larger quantities outside the restricted context.

SIRC has also issued several warnings about the role of over-zealous health promotion – specifically over-emphasis on 'healthy eating' and weight control – in the development of eating disorders among young girls.

We are pleased to see that both of these factors have been taken into account by the FSA in formulating the new guidelines on school meals – an indication of the clear-headed and rational approach that Professor John Krebs has brought to government policy on nutrition.