Campaigners attack healthy vouchers giveaway

The next phase of the government's Change4Life campaign has been criticised by the National Obesity Forum.

As part of the 'Great Swapathon’ people will be encouraged to swap one unhealthy habit for a healthy one in 2011. Families will also have access to five million books containing £50 of vouchers for healthy food and activities.

The initiative will be funded by food and drinks manufacturers, ASDA and the News of the World.

Tam Fry, a spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum, said it had 'nothing to do with introducing people to healthy food'.

'This is a large scale sales promotion. It's about helping shops shift gear - there are vouchers for things like tables and holidays. This is just a headline grabbing operation with a very limited shelf-life.'

Mr Fry said the five million voucher books would only reach a third of the people in the UK who need help to lose weight.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said the initiative was ‘a great example of how government, the media, industry and retailers can work together to help families to be healthy'.
‘The healthy option isn’t always the cheapest option so it’s a really important step to be able to offer £50 off healthier foods, drinks and activities,’ he said.


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