Change4Life spoofs highlight “corporate takeover”

Pressure group Children’s Food Campaign, is trying to reverse the “corporate takeover” of the Government’s Change4Life initiative by encouraging people to create spoof advertisements illustrating the potential damage to public health.

The children’s health campaigners are trying to highlight the “conflict of interest” in health secretary Andrew Lansley’s decision to ask the food and drink industries to help pay for the anti-obesity initiative in exchange for no new regulation.

The group has posted templates of Change4Life advertisements on its website and is asking users to doctor the images to show how the Department of Health’s initiative might look if run by the private sector.

Suggestions already posted include “Meal time: Due to new scientific findings our 5-a-day now recommends no fruit and veg” and “Snack check: A Mars a day keeps the doctor away”.

The group asks: “How effective will companies that sell food and drink high in fat, sugar or salt be at persuading us to eat less of their best selling products?”

The DoH was quick to slam the Campaign’s claims. “It’s completely wrong to say Change4Life is being handed over to industry,” a spokeswoman says.

“We cannot expect government, or even the NHS, the schools and the voluntary sector, to do it all. Industry can be a huge force for good but it also needs to take responsibility for the health impacts of the products it sells,” she adds.

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