Government TV campaign targets obesity after supermarkets agree voluntary ‘traffic light’ food labelling
A graphic government television campaign highlighting the levels of sugar, fat and salt in everyday foods, including a cola bottle holding 17 cubes of sugar, and a wine glass full of fat from a large pizza, will be launched on Monday during an episode of Coronation Street.
The adverts will bookend commercial food adverts, including from Asda, the Co-Op and Quorn, featuring their healthier ranges.
The campaign is part of the Change4Life scheme. The public health minister, Anna Soubry, said: “We want to make it easy for everyone to keep track of what they eat and make healthier choices. That is why we are also developing a simple and clear system for front of pack labelling that everyone can use.”
The government has been criticised in the past by many in the health sector for not introducing a mandatory simple uniform labelling system, but has finally won agreement from major supermarkets to introduce a traffic light system of labelling on a voluntary basis this year.
Soubry said with England having one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe, there was more to do. “Making healthier, balanced meals on a budget can be a challenge for families. This new Change4Life campaign offers families free healthy recipes and money off those much needed cupboard essentials to encourage everyone to try healthy alternatives.”
Victoria Taylor, a dietician at the British Heart Foundation, welcomed the campaign, but said it was essential it wasn’t just a flash in the pan. “If we’re to lessen the heavy burden of obesity, this campaign must provide the spark for a continued, joined-up approach to the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity across the UK.”