Government withdraw obesity campaign funding


Friday 9th July, 2010

change for lifeThe public health campaign ‘Change4Life’, launched to tackle rising obesity rates in the UK, has had its funding withdrawn by the Government.

Since beginning in January 2009, £50m has been invested in the campaign but now ministers want private investors to step in with funding.

Funding for Change4Life has gone toward TV advertisements and marketing materials for schools, hospitals and community halls.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is hoping private businesses will now provide investment to allow the campaign to continue. Mr. Lansley believes it will be in their interests to align their business with a new approach to public health.

Despite the NHS having a protected budget, the move to withdraw funding for the campaign suggests cuts still have to made. A free swimming initiative has already been axed last month.

The Change4Life brand has become recognisable to nearly nine in 10 mothers, according to surveys, after a widescale rollout of marketing materials to the local community.

A spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum is said to be ‘horror-struck’ by the thought of private industry funding the campaign.

“Nothing other than a bare-faced request to bail out a cash-starved Department of Health campaign,” said Tam Fry.

“The quid pro quo is that the department gives industry an assurance that there will be no regulation or legislation over its activities.”

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