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Tuesday 27 September 2016
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Change4Life campaign aimed at tackling obesity

The government is launching a new healthy living campaign aimed at tackling Britain's soaring obesity rates.

Companies like Coca-Cola, Mars and Nestle will be involved in adverts highlighting the new Change4Life initiative.

The Department of Health said that promoting healthy eating and exercise would help "kickstart a lifestyle revolution for every family".

A dedicated helpline is being set up that will allow people to speak to specially-trained advisers for advice on exercise, nutrition and support services.

Meanwhile, the Change4Life website will bring together more than 45,000 groups and projects aimed at promoting healthy living.

TV adverts for the campaign will be shown from Saturday, with cartoons depicting scenes from a bygone era, when people took more exercise. They contrast with modern scenes of families eating pizza and children playing video games.

The government has been prompted to make the move by data that suggests that if action is not taken now, 90% of today's children will be overweight or obese by 2050. This will put them at risk of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

If the trend continues, obesity will also cost the nation £50bn by 2050 – half the entire current NHS budget for a year.

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Department of Health