Change4Life, launched in January this year, is an ambitious social marketing campaign from the Government that aims to highlight:
- the issue of childhood obesity
- the consequences of unhealthy lifestyles and weight gain in childhood.
Charities help champion healthy living
As part of this, the Department of Health has invited Diabetes UK, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation to work together to raise awareness of the link between obesity and heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
From the end of February 2009 for four weeks, magazine advertising – that has been jointly developed by the three charities - will target parents of children under 11 (not specifically those affected by diabetes).
These are hard-hitting adverts, communicating to parents that to reduce the risk of their child developing any of the three conditions in the future, they need to be aware of the importance of children eating a healthy, well balanced diet and being more active today.
Link between obesity and Type 2 diabetes
Latest statistics show that over 80 per cent of people - four out of five - with Type 2 diabetes are overweight at time of diagnosis. And with increasing rates of childhood obesity, the situation does not appear to be improving.
Our chance to raise awareness
This campaign is therefore our opportunity to raise awareness of the link between Type 2 diabetes and lifestyle factors, and to be part of a unique campaign that sees three leading charities working together with a mutual goal – that is, to highlight the serious consequences if trends around childhood obesity continue as they are.
Why so hard hitting?
Some of the messages may be hard hitting but market research told us we had to be.
The campaign was developed using focus groups made up of mums from our target audience.
What these groups showed us was that the messages had to be direct enough to make them take notice and think “Could this be me and my kids?”.
How we can help you
In this section, you’ll find tips for parents on children’s diet and lifestyle. There are also links to other parts of the Diabetes UK website for relevant information about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and the differences between them.
We also link to lots of tasty, healthy recipes for kids to enjoy with the whole family.
Watch this space
We’ll keep updating this section as the campaign develops, so look out for further updates.