Cross-sector coalition will target obesitySeptember 2008
British companies for whom obesity is a corporate responsibility issue have come together to help the government promote healthier lifestyles.
Food and beverage, retail, advertising, fitness and healthcare companies have created a coalition under the auspices of the Advertising Association to encourage healthy diets and physical activity in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics. They will be joined by media companies which will give airtime to the Change 4 Life campaign.
Their collective investment in cash and in-kind donations is expected to exceed the equivalent of £200million ($362m) over the next four years, almost tripling the £75m set aside for the same purpose by the government. Early supporters include Britvic, BSkyB, Cadbury-Schweppes, Channel 4, Coca-Cola, Fitness Industry Association, five, ITV, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Tesco, Viacom and Virgin Media Television.
The industry initiative is the first time the food, drink, broadcasting and advertising industries have worked jointly with the UK government to promote healthier lifestyles, according to the Advertising Association. It will use the companies’ advertising, marketing and media resources to stress the importance of diet and exercise and a series of national public events co-ordinated by the industry will be held over the next four years.
The UK Conservative Party has invited David Lewis, chairman of Unilever UK, to head a working group on public health, which is to be the main theme of the opposition party’s proposed ‘Responsibility Deal’ with business.
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