Change4life to target middle-aged men

The Government is to target middle-aged men in the next phase of its £75m Change4Life initiative after claiming success in the first-year of the anti-obesity drive.

The television, outdoor and digital campaign is aimed at overweight adults aged 45 to 60, with a focus on men. It will encourage lifestyle changes such as reducing portion sizes and will include messages about the calorific content of alcoholic drinks.

The latest activity, created by M&C Saatchi, was developed after Department of Health (DoH) data found that obesity levels peaked between the ages of 45 and 65 with 69% of middle-aged adults found to be overweight or obese.

The campaign marks the third stage of the Change4Life initiative following activity targeting young families and pregnant women or women with babies.

Sian Jarvis, director general of communications at the DoH, says that the latest phase is being introduced earlier than planned after previous campaigns achieved better than expected levels of brand recognition. Change4Life began in January last year.

In a report called “One Year On”, the DoH claims that 88% of mothers with children under 11 recognise the Change4Life logo against a year-one target of 44%, while the number of families signing-up for the initiative is double the first-year target of 200,000, at 413,466.

The report also provides evidence of behavioural change as a result of the campaign with 35% of the 300 mothers of children under 11 asked saying they have taken some action after seeing Change4Life ads between July and September last year, compared with 28% between February and April 2009.

The numbers eating healthier foods and doing more physical exercise increased from 13% to 18% and 10% to 16% respectively between the same two periods, the report says.

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