Leading UK manufacturers and supermarkets join forces to tackle obesity

Posted by Isobel Drake on 25th July 2008

For the first time, retailers, media, advertisers, food & drink manufacturers, fitness and healthcare companies partner with Government in the quest to fight against obesity.

The industry consortium, spearheaded by the Advertising Association and working in partnership across Government, will aim to encourage healthy diets and physical activity in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics and make a significant and measurable contribution to fighting obesity in the UK.

The firms involved, which include Mars, Nestlé, Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola, have offered cash, advertising and on-pack messages to help deal with the issue.

“Business is part of the solution to tackling obesity in the UK,” said Baroness Peta Buscombe, Chief Executive of the Advertising Association. “Through this coalition, we are all making a strong statement that we are committed to working with government and the voluntary sector to transform the health of the nation and be a force for good.”

In an article in the Telegraph Baroness Buscombe added that the support within the food industry for the campaign was very strong. “Persuading companies to support this campaign wasn’t that difficult,” she advised. “Many are already doing a lot. Food companies have changed many of their products to reduce levels of fat, sugar and salt. They have strict rules about marketing certain foods to kids.”

The industry contribution will be worth in excess of £200 million over the four years and will be in addition to the Government’s own £75 million, three year advertising and marketing campaign.