Change4Life is a public health programme in England which began in January 2009, run by the Department of Health. It is the country's first national social marketing campaign to tackle the causes of obesity.
Change4Life aims to help families and middle-aged adults make small, sustainable yet significant improvements to their diet, activity levels and alcohol consumption. It uses the slogan "eat well, move more, live longer".
Change4Life encourages people to adopt six healthy behaviours:
- 5 A Day – suggestions for ways to eat the recommended 5 portions of fruit and veg each day
- Watch the salt – advice on reducing the amount of salt eaten each day, ideally keeping it to below 6g for adults
- Cut back fat – information about the (mainly saturated) fat found in foods and ways to reduce this
- Sugar swaps – information about sugar found in foods and suggestions for healthier alternatives
- Choose less booze – ways for adults cut down on alcohol consumption to within government lower-risk guidelines
- Get going every day – why it’s important to lead an active lifestyle and ways for adults and children to do this cheaply and easily
Change4Life also has six sub-brands that help intermediaries to promote a single issue with either a food or an activity focus (Bike4Life, Breakfast4Life, Let's Dance with Change4Life, Play4Life, Swim4Life and Walk4Life). A range of resources is provided to enable them to disseminate these healthy living messages within their own context.
Change4Life adopts an integrated marketing approach and uses a variety of marketing channels including television and radio, digital, social media, PR and direct marketing. It uses animated television advertising by Aardman Animations, as part of a wider campaign. M&C Saatchi lead on the creative aspects of the campaign with additional input from a range of other agencies providing PR, digital, planning and data services.
In addition to consumer marketing, Change4Life engages with intermediaries at a local level, including schools, NHS organisations, local authorities, schools and others. These local supporters are able to interact with the campaign audience in different ways and in different contexts to Change4Life’s central approach. Free resources including posters and leaflets are available to local supporters to enable them to do this effectively.
Change4Life Sports Clubs
Change4Life Sports Clubs were designed by Change4Life in 2011 to increase physical activity levels in less active children in primary and secondary schools by:
- Using multi-sport themes (primary) or alternative school sports (secondary)
- Using the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
- Responding to what children want
- Establishing a habit of regular participation
- Developing a real sense of belonging
- Changing behaviours relating to key health outcomes (including healthy eating, physical activity and emotional health)
Start4Life is a sister brand of Change4Life. It is aimed primarily at pregnant women and new mothers. It encourages a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy (activity, healthy eating, taking supplements, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol) as well as a healthy start for new babies (breastfeeding, introducing solid foods, avoiding sugary foods, and activity). It also encourages fathers, friends and family members to support pregnant women and new mothers in making healthy lifestyle choices. Free leaflets and posters are available to healthcare professionals to help them encourage their patients to make healthy lifestyle choices.
- Sweney, Mark (11 November 2008). "Government unveils details of £275m Change4Life anti-obesity push". The Guardian (London).
- "This will be England’s first ever national social marketing campaign to reduce obesity". HM Government. April 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Boseley, Sarah (2 January 2009). "Matter of life and death: Wallace and Gromit makers get animated over UK obesity crisis". The Guardian (London).