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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Training in promoting healthy living

8th December 2008

The King's Fund has said the NHS should improve the way it promotes healthy living to people in the UK.


A report by the think tank - the result of a 12 month investigation into health service efforts to stop people smoking, drinking too much, eating unhealthily and not taking enough exercise - said the NHS was not making enough impact on people's behaviour.

Smokers and complications caused by obesity have been estimated to cost the health service over £6 billion annually. The Department of Health invested £50 million in 2007/08 in promoting healthy lifestyle campaigns.

The report said some campaigns had been successful, such as the "Food Dudes" programme in schools which had increased pupils' intake of healthy foods by using cartoons.

Dr Anna Dixon, director of policy at the King's Fund, said the NHS should look at more original ways of addressing the healthy living issue: "Obesity and the health problems associated with smoking and excessive alcohol are the biggest challenges facing the 21st-century NHS."

"The methods used to promote public health need to be more modern, using the most advanced techniques and technologies."

Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, president of the Faculty of Public Health, said he was in agreement with the report's recommendations.

"We need social marketing techniques to target messages and understand what will make changes worthwhile for people but also we need to make sure the healthy choices are the easy choices."


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