UK: Gov't ad campaign to show "hidden nasties" in food

By Chris Mercer | 7 January 2013

The UK Government has sent a warning shot across the bows of the food industry by launching an advertising campaign to highlight hidden levels of salt, sugar and fat in products.

The government's Change4Life scheme, which includes many branded food producers as sponsors, will "takeover" a television advertising slot during peak evening viewing on the ITV channel today (7 January).

Ads are expected to show that a bottle of cola contains an average 17 sugar cubes, and that a deep-pan, large pizza contains a wine glass-worth of fat.

News of the advertising campaign comes as the government faces fresh pressure to take a tougher stance with the food industry, amid figures showing that obesity costs the UK's National Health Service GBP5bn (US$8bn) per year. A newly-released study also shows consumers generally have poor knowledge about the foods they eat.
 
Alongside revealing "hidden nasties" in some foods, the Change4Life advertising campaign will offer menu ideas for healthier lifestyles. "We have worked closely with partner organisations including Asda fresh fish and Uncle Ben’s rice to highlight how easy it is to eat well on a budget," said the Department of Health's marketing director, Sheila Mitchell.

"The [ad slot] takeover closes with a reminder to sign up to Change4Life to receive a free meal mixer,” she added.

Public health minister Anna Soubry praised the Change4Life for helping a million mums to change their behaviour. "But England has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe with over 60% of adults and a third of 10 and 11 year olds overweight or obese," she said.

There is a burgeoning row between the main political parties in the UK on how hard to push the food industry, in order to address poor diets.

Over the weekend, the main opposition party's shadow health minister called for legal limits on the amount of fat, salt and sugar in foods aimed at children. For now, however, the Coalition government remains committed to a voluntary approach via its Responsibility Deal with industry.

Show the press release

Hidden food nasties revealed in new Change4Life campaign
January 7, 2013
New ‘Be Food Smart’ campaign launched

A ground-breaking new campaign exposing the ‘hidden nasties’ in everyday foods and helping people to be ‘food smart’ is launched today by Public Health Minister Anna Soubry.

Graphic new advertising from Change4Life reveals a shocking 17 sugar cubes in a bottle of cola and more than a wine glass of fat in a large pizza.

The Change4Life adverts, which are made by Aardman, the creators of Wallace and Gromit, have joined forces with a range of food manufacturers and ITV to host the first ever health-focussed ad break.

The ‘ad takeover’,  which will air tonight  (7January) during prime-time in Coronation Street, marks the launch of a new year healthy eating drive and will feature ads from Asda, Quorn, Uncle Ben’s, the Co-Operative Food and Cravendale.

The unique ad slot is the centrepiece of the campaign that encourages the public to think about the ‘hidden nasties’ in everyday foods so they can better manage the amount of salt, fat and sugar in their diets.  It also includes a range of healthy eating tools and information from recipes to money-off  vouchers.

There will also be hundreds of offers on healthier products at more than 1,000 ASDA, ALDI and the Co-Operative Food stores across the country to give a helping hand with the cost of kitchen cupboard basics.

Everyone that signs up to the campaign will get a free ‘Food Smart Meal Mixer’ with lots of quick, easy, healthier recipes with enough combinations to eat a different daily menu every day for six years.

Those that sign up to the campaign will also get a range of great offers including free Cravendale milk and money off Quorn Best Ever Mince or Chicken style pieces, Schwartz spices and seasoning and Robinson’s Fruit Shoot My-5.

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said:

“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.

“Thanks to the continuing success of Change4Life, a million mums have changed their behaviour.  But England has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe with over 60 per cent of adults and a third of 10 and 11 year olds overweight or obese.

“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.”

Department of Health Director of Marketing Sheila Mitchell said:

“This is first time ITV has teamed up with us for an ad takeover.  We have worked closely with partner organisations including ASDA fresh fish and Uncle Ben’s rice to highlight how easy it is to eat well on a budget.

“The takeover closes with a reminder to sign up to Change4life to receive a free meal mixer.”

After signing up to Change4Life online, families will receive the meal mixer which they can use to compare and combine different meals to suit their lifestyle. The range of healthier low cost meals includes turkey stir fry and vegetarian chilli.

And this year’s campaign features a brand new smart phone and tablet app featuring a meal mixer and a handy shopping list function to help people make healthy choices in the supermarket.

The campaign comes as a new survey reveals the nations lack of knowledge about the food they eat. The survey found that:

half of those surveyed (50 per cent) didn’t know that there are 11 lumps of sugar in a can of cola; and
49 per cent of people aren’t aware that a large takeaway pepperoni pizza has two times the recommended maximum daily intake of saturated fat.
Obesity costs the NHS £5 billion each year with 40,000 people dying of conditions attributable to being overweight or obese. And the latest figures show that the number of children who are overweight or obese doubles during primary school.

To sign up to Change4Life and to get healthy tips search Change4life.

NOTES TO EDITORS



For further information or media interviews please contact the Department of Health press office on 0207 210 4990.
A 500ml bottle of cola contains more than 17 sugar cubes and a pizza has 148ml of fat. The amount of fat was calculated by taking an average of five commonly available deep pan large pizza available in November 2012.
The Food IQ survey was conducted by Censuswide and surveyed 2006 people about their eating habits.

Original source: Hidden food nasties revealed in new Change4Life campaign January 7, 2013 New ‘Be Food Smart’ campaign launched A ground-breaking new campaign exposing the ‘hidden nasties’ in everyday foods and helping people to be ‘food smart’ is launched today by Publi

Sectors: Advertising & labelling, Health & wellness

Companies: Asda

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