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This article is from the WebMD News Archive

New 'shock' unhealthy food ads

WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

7th January 2013 - Shocking people into healthier ways appears to be the latest approach from Government health campaigns in England. Just days after the quit smoking ads showing a cancer tumour growing on a cigarette, new ads show just how unhealthy some foods are.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says 26.6% per cent of girls aged five to 17 and 22.7% of boys in the same age group are considered overweight or obese.

The number of children who are overweight or obese doubles during primary school.

The Department of Health says obesity costs the NHS £5 billion a year and 40,000 people die of conditions linked to being overweight or obese each year.

'Hidden nasties'

The new Change4Life healthy eating campaign began last week with results of a survey showing how many people in England are surprised by how much salt, sugar and saturated fats are found in their favourite foods.

TV chef Ainsley Harriott also urged us to be more aware of the 'hidden nasties' in what we eat.

'Be Food Smart'

Using animated characters designed by the team behind Wallace and Gromit, the 'Be Food Smart' initiative shows how a bottle of cola contains 17 sugar cubes.


It also shows how a large pizza contains enough fat to fill a wine glass.


The campaign will also see retailers and manufacturers promote healthy foods and supermarkets offer deals on healthier products.

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry says in a statement: "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."


Last week the campaign group Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) told us the Department of Health needs to take much more action on salt reduction, and set targets for all food manufacturers and catering outlets beyond 2012, to ensure that the maximum number of lives are saved.

The British Heart Foundation hopes the healthy food partnership between the food industry and the Government is not just a flash in the pan.

Senior dietitian Victoria Taylor says in a statement: "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

"We all have a responsibility for the food we eat and cook at home but it’s important we’re supported and encouraged to make healthy choices by our environment. What we see on TV, the labels on packaging and the way we learn about food and cooking all play their part and can make a healthy difference to our diets."

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