Change4Life puts spotlight on overweight adults

LONDON - The government's Change4Life anti-obesity campaign is to target adults with an ad drive aimed at encouraging them to adopt healthier lifestyles by making a series of swaps.

TV and print ads, created by M&C Saatchi, will run from this Saturday, 20 February. They are targeted at 45- to 65-year-olds as more than 70% of this age group can be classed as either overweight or obese. Previous work has targeted a wider audience including children.

The campaign suggests a series of actions such as swapping watching sport on television for taking part, increasing fibre intake by choosing brown rice instead of white, or swapping bigger plates for smaller ones to reduce portions of food.

The TV ad tells the story of one how one of the Aardman Animations-created Change4Life plasticine figures familiar from previous ads acquired a "spare tyre" and the steps he took to lose it.

In a new move, it will also highlight alcohol's link to obesity. Sheila Mitchell, Department of Health (DoH), marketing director, said: "The calorie content of alcohol is an important message that people need to understand."

The latest campaign comes a year after the launch of the three-year initiative. The DoH said:

  • One million mums claim to have attempted to change their children's behaviour as a result of Change4Life.
  • Latest data show that obesity prevalence in children is levelling out.
  • An early analysis of people's shopping baskets suggests that families who signed up to Change4Life are now more likely to chose low fat milks and low sugar drinks.
  • For every pound spent on the campaign, three pounds are spent by partners such as Tesco and Asda to build momentum.

Andy Burnham, health secretary, said: "We have surpassed all our targets for the first year and we are beginning to see the positive impact on families as they start to adopt healthier lifestyles."

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