Government to cut Change4Life health funding
8 July, 2010
Government funding of the Change4Life public health campaign is to be withdrawn with the hope the private sector will fill the gap, ministers say. About £50m has been invested in it since the launch in January 2009 in a bid to tackle obesity rates.
The funds paid for TV ads and a range of marketing materials handed out by schools, hospitals and community halls. But Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said he wanted to see business take on responsibility for the campaign.
He said it was in their interests to be associated with the brand and the move was part of a fresh approach to public health which would culminate in a new strategy at the end of the year. Companies selling foods such as chocolate, crisps and soft drinks did not want the public to see their products as "harmful" but as something that could be incorporated into healthy diets, he added.
Lansley also said, in a speech to public health doctors in London, that he wanted to see more of a focus on changing behaviour than the "lecturing" attitude that characterised some of the previous government's interventions. He said people needed "nudging" without being told what to do.