Blog: Dean BestChange4Life - the UK government's New Year's resolution

Dean Best | 2 January 2009

As we usher in the New Year, most of us give at least a moment's thought to how we can live more healthily in the year ahead.

However, let's face it, those good intentions are more often that not just a knee-jerk reaction after over-doing the New Year celebrations. Vague notions of eating more healthily or going to the gym barely outlast January.

Or maybe that's just me.

Tomorrow (3 January), however, sees the UK government officially launch its own New Year's resolution – a bid to get the nation healthy.

The Change4Life programme, which well see food manufacturers and retailers join forces with government and broadcasters, aims to promote a healthier lifestyle amid fears over rising obesity.

According to the UK's Department of Health, without action, by 2050 some 90% of today's children will be overweight and at risk from serious disease. Experts have estimated that obesity could cost the NHS some GBP50bn (US$72.58bn) by 2050.

This weekend will see the first advertisements for the Change4Life campaign. The TV ads have been created by Aardman Animations, the company behind Morph and Wallace and Gromit. (You can see stills from the creation of the ads – including plasticine figures dancing and doing sit-ups – here).

The Change4Life programme has also been featured on YouTube, with three short videos detailing the scheme and examples of what's happening in communities to try to get children to eat more healthily.

The involvement of food manufacturers in tackling public health issues is always a point of contention but Change4Life is an opportunity for industry to show just how serious it is about tackling what UK Health Secretary Alan Johnson describes as “the biggest health challenge” in the country.


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