Government plans 75m anti-obesity campaign

The Government has pledged 75m on an advertising campaign as part of a 372m strategy aimed at beating the obesity “time bomb”. The marketing drive will focus on helping parents to make changes to their children’s diet and activity levels.

The Government has pledged £75m on an advertising campaign as part of a £372m strategy aimed at beating the obesity “time bomb”. The marketing drive will focus on helping parents to make changes to their children’s diet and activity levels.

The strategy was announced before Parliament by Health Secretary Alan Johnson and Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. The Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives report calls for £75m to be spent to 2011 on an integrated marketing programme. The Government expects commercial partners to contribute.

It reads: “This will not be a Government campaign telling people how to raise their children; rather, a Government-encouraged movement, to which everyone… can belong and contribute.”

The primary emphasis will be on preventative measures and establishing better eating habits and patterns of activity from early infancy.

The Government has also instructed media regulator Ofcom to bring forward its review of the restrictions already introduced on advertising unhealthy foods to children. It will work with the food and drink industry to produce a Healthy Food Code of Good Practice, including proposals to develop a single approach to food labelling.

The strategy also includes plans to halt the growth of fast-food outlets near schools as well as the creation of “healthy” towns and revamping the NHS Choices website to include more diet and exercise advice.

Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson says “balanced” marketing, promotion of food to children and clear, consistent food labelling are key components, alongside healthy eating and physical activity in “beating the obesity time bomb”.

Already, retailers including Asda have backed the call for a consistent approach to nutritional labelling. In July 2007, Asda launched a dual labelling system, combining the benefits of ‘traffic lights’ with GDAs, over and above the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) recommendations. The supermarket also says it has become the first retailer to hit the FSA’s salt reduction targets from own-brand products two years ahead of a 2010 deadline.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here