Govt to launch reported £10m 'Better health' campaign to tackle obesity

HFSS food: health initiative is part of govt's obesity strategy
HFSS food: health initiative is part of govt's obesity strategy

It will be led by Public Health England.

The government is set to launch a reported £10m campaign called "Better health" later today (Monday) around its initiative to tackle obesity in England after the coronavirus pandemic.

The work, created by M&C Saatchi, will be led by Public Health England and encourages people to lose weight if they need to, eat better and get active. It will run for the next nine months. 

The campaign will run across TV, print, radio, out-of-home and digital channels, with media planning handled by Wavemaker and buying by OmniGov. A 60-second ad will launch this evening with roadblocks across TV channels today and tomorrow. 

The government said it will be supported by a range of "evidence-based" tools and apps that will give advice on "how to reduce the waistline". 

This includes the NHS Weight Loss Plan app, which is "at the heart of the programme", as well as discounts for WW (previously known as Weight Watchers), Slimming World, Get Slim and Man vs Fat.

The activity will target people from black, Asian and minority-ethnic backgrounds, because they have suffered higher death rates during the pandemic.

According to The Guardian, the work will aim to be an "energising campaign showing very diverse people". 

The proposed obesity strategy, which was revealed by prime minister Boris Johnson today, will ban TV ads for food and drink that is high in fat, sugar or salt before 9pm, as well as introducing an advertising ban online for "unhealthy foods". There are also plans to cut down on in-store promotions.

The measures have been strongly criticised by brands and agencies, with ISBA director-general Phil Smith calling it "a slap in the face for food and drink manufacturers, the advertising sector and small business".

Earlier this year, Campaign reported that Public Health England will be running its Change4Life campaign later in the year – the first time in 11 years that it has not run in January.

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