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Healthy food campaign criticised for offering unhealthy value vouchers

Over 100,000 people have signed up for Change4Life’s Smart Swap campaign that revolves around swapping unhealthy food for healthier alternatives.

However, it has been receiving criticism after offering money off vouchers for items including Pepsi and Uncle Ben’s snacks.

The situation has come about because low-fat and low-sugar options are frequently being suggested as the alternatives. However, many see the vouchers as effectively being an endorsement for such products and therefore constituting advertising for big brands.

Tam Fry, a spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, said:

“I regard it as being straightforward advertising which has been foisted on the Department of Health by an industry which wishes to put itself in a good light and has convinced DoH it is a brilliant idea. It’s just another way in which the punter is being persuaded to go off and buy this, that and the other and the only winners are the stores that you buy them in.”

Making reference to the fact that fizzy drinks are among the biggest causes of obesity in children, Conservative MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston, feels that discounts should be offered on low-sugar and low-salt products in shops to encourage consumers to switch. However, perhaps a more effective approach could be to address the food on offer within schools.

There is an increasing availability of healthy tuckshop foods in Merseyside, London, Birmingham, and other major urban areas throughout the country. It is believed that fizzy drinks and sugary snacks need to be replaced by appealing alternatives, if children are to find a way to eat better.

Posted by Jennifer
March 22, 2014

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