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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Change4Life funding withdrawn

8th July 2010

Government funding of the Change4Life public health campaign which aims to tackle rising rates of obesity is being withdrawn.


Since its launch in January 2009, some £50m has been invested in the campaign to pay for TV advertisements and a range of marketing materials handed out by schools, hospitals and community halls.

But now the government is hoping the private sector will step in with health secretary Andrew Lansley saying he wanted to see business take on responsibility for the campaign and become associated with the brand.

While impressed by what Change4Life had achieved, Mr Lansley warned that the health service "was not immune" from the debt crisis.

The campaign had led to spin-offs such as Bike4Life and Walk4Life but after "pump-priming" the branding, the government believes it is now times for others to support it.

Speaking to public health doctors in London, Mr Lansley said he want to shift the government stance from one of lecturing people on what to do more towards nudging them in the right direction.

"For too long our approach to public health has been fragmented, overly complex and sadly ineffective," he said.

Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, president of the Faculty of Public Health, welcomed the vision, saying public health chiefs were keen to meet the challenge.

But Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum said he was "horror-struck" about the thought of getting industry involved in funding Change4Life and that the change of approach was "nothing other than a bare-faced request to bail out a cash-starved Department of Health campaign".


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