Government Health Campaign: The Change4Life campaign

Category: Disease, Nutrition, Obesity
Last Updated: 15 Feb 2023
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The Change4Life campaign aims to help families to eat healthier and educate them on the importance of exercise. This is because it hopes to tackle the rising issues of obesity in households. Change4Life responds to an urgent need to tackle the disturbing rise in obesity. It was launched in England in 2009. The original purpose of the campaign was a societal movement, which meant that it was a childhood obesity prevention strategy. The campaign is reinforced by the Department of Health and intends to target the growing problem of obesity in a very hands-on, positive way, by implanting healthy eating and exercise habits into people from a young age. The campaign targeted parents of children between the ages of 5-11. Particularly those from boroughs of the population where parental attitudes, beliefs and behaviours showed that their children were more likely to gain excess weight. Change4Life mission today is to encourage individuals to eat well, move more and live longer.

It is a government programme to tackle children obesity by helping families recognise the effect of unhealthy or excessive eating can have on a child’s life. This is important because children that are obese would cost the NHS later on because they would need to be provided with beds and treatment. Britain is a welfare state and therefore, the government has to provide medical care to the general public through taxation. Change4Life is a programme for the government to reduce the rising issues of obesity among children. The health campaign programme is helpful in containing the spread of obesity and educating families with children to eat healthier and exercise regularly.

Change4Life is a social market that hopes to imprint its ideas of achieving a healthy active lifestyle and why it is important to the general public. This is because obesity has a severe impact health of individuals; increasing the risk of type-2 diabetes, some cancers, and heart and liver disease. This is problematic for the government and the general public because the money for treatment comes from taxation. Tackling the increase in obesity is vital. Research has shown that 10% of all cancer deaths among non-smokers are connected to obesity. The danger of Coronary Artery Disease rises 3.6 times for obese people and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is about 20 times larger for people who have a BMI over 35 when compared to individuals with a BMI between 18 and 25. These illnesses can eventually decrease life expectancy.

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The Main Purpose of Change4Life

Change4Life focuses on the lifestyle elements that can be directly related to a healthy active lifestyle. The campaign focuses on the cause of childhood obesity and therefore, aims to tackle the rising issues by targeting households with children. This is because if families are familiar with the basics of nutrition then they are armed with the knowledge to make positive decisions with regard to their diet. For example; a family who eats processed food like microwavable lasagnas frequently, might change their eating habits and actually cook their lasagnas.

A few simple changes, such as exchanging ready meals for healthy, homemade dinners, or snacking on fruit as an alternative to chocolate; can have a massive effect on health and weight problems. Change4Life advertises on television, newspapers and schools to attract households with families in order to fulfil their aim of childhood obesity. Leaflets are sent to households in order for them to understand what food can do to a person’s development. This is vital because understanding the importance that specific foods and ingredients have for general health and welfare can have a great impact on overall health.

Another purpose for the government establishing the Change4Life health campaign was the increase in obesity numbers among adults and children which was costing the NHS billions every year. The Government Office for Science’s Foresight Report implied that “if we don’t take action now, our society will be consumed by a major public health problem matched only by climate change in both its scale and complexity.” This further shows the risk and completion associated with obesity can have on society. It also highlights the importance of the Change4Life campaign in society. The phrase “major public health problem” can imply that obesity can cause the NHS billions, further making it less likely to have an NHS in future. According to Prime Minster David Cameroon's obesity cost on the NHS was £4.2 billion in 2014 and had risen to £6.4 billion by the end of 2015. The Government Office for Science’s Foresight Report implies that by 2050 the figure would drastically rise to £50 billion. Further, becoming a finical and social problem for the general public and government. This also shows the importance of the Change4Life campaign because it might

Impact of Change4Life

Change4Life had been successful in impacting 85% of its target audience, who were households with children. The health campaign had won fifteen industry awards and multiple sub-campaign such as; Start4Life, which is only targeted at women and middle-aged adults. There are other multiple sub-campaigns for everyone else needs such as Cook4Life, Walk4Life, Swim4Life, Moreactive4Life, Muckin4Life, Bike4Life, and Smallsteps4Life. The Change4Life health campaign and its sub-campaign were made available to local and national partners in order that the campaign and the sub-campaigns to be more successful. Change4Life was successful in making an impact on 570,000 families and 61,000 children to eat healthier and move more for a healthy active lifestyle.

The health campaign has come in for disapproval, but the government states that one million mothers have pursued to change their families' lifestyles in the past year. This shows that the Change4Life campaign is changing the perspective of mothers who were not focused on what food their children eat and were considering that food can affect their health. Normally these mothers are from a working-class background because that is their target audience when advertising. Working-class households are more likely to be unaware of what processed or fast food can have on a human body and more likely to buy and eat those foods due to their being cheaper and less time-consuming. Therefore, the government claiming that Change4Life had changed the viewpoint of mothers shows the success of the health campaign due to increasing awareness of the problems associated with obesity. Mothers are also seen as having the dominant role in the household because she controls the food eaten by their family.

Impact of Change4Life on Schools

School Meals

Due to the popularity of Change4Life in the first year; the government was inspired to create standards in 2010 where children would be given a healthy school meal. This is because Change4Life had been a success in identifying the causes and ways of preventing obesity levels rising. School meals have been altered by the government. The portions of fruits and vegetables in school meals in 2005 were 12.5% and the statistics has increased to 67% in 2014. Venue machines with chocolates and crisps were banned from schools in order to make sure that children eat healthier food. It also made sure that children were less likely to become diabetic because sweets would be limited and also the government has increased the VAT on sweets and soft drinks.

There are over 500,00 school which has signed up for the Change4Life programmes across England and Wales. This shows the successful impact Change4Life had on schools because meals have become healthier in order to provide a balanced diet. Breakfast clubs are another example of how schools provide a balanced meal for students. Children that are fed quickly or do not have breakfast; can be provided with a good meal to start an active date.

Sports Clubs in Secondary and Primary Schools

Change4Life had established sports clubs to attract the interest of children and young people who have not usually taken part in physical education or sport and are consequently less active. The sports clubs were designed to educate children and young people about how to lead a healthy active lifestyle. The sports activity for children has surrounded by five different multi-sport themes, such as creativity, treasure hunt, and combat. For young people, the clubs were related to Olympic and Paralympic sports, such as wheelchair basketball and softball.

The latest evaluation of the sports clubs from Change4Life had shown that since the clubs started in 2011 a remarkable two hundred twenty-five thousand children and young people have joined. Primary schools had seventy thousand children who took part in over four-thousand primary school clubs in the previous year with over fifty thousand club sessions being put on for young people. Since joining the primary clubs over one hundred one thousand children now feel positive about being active and playing games, whilst almost seventy-five thousand are now achieving sixty minutes of activity on most days of the week.


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Cite this Page

Government Health Campaign: The Change4Life campaign. (2017, Aug 27). Retrieved from

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