US health department launches obesity PR blitz

WASHINGTON, DC: The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a publicity blitz to educate Americans about obesity and explain that taking small steps can lead to a more healthy lifestyle.

The campaign’s unveiling coincided with the release of a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that obesity is catching up with tobacco as a leading cause of preventable death.

The public awareness campaign, called ‘Healthy Lifestyles & Disease Prevention,’ has appeared on TV, print, radio, and outdoor. McCann-Erickson, along with the Ad Council, designed the spots on a pro bono basis. The ads, which depict people finding love handles, double chins, and unwanted body parts in public places and direct viewers to a website, www.smallstep.gov. The site features 100 tips for things to do to lose weight, such as taking the stairs instead of lifts and eating only half of a dessert.

Washington, DC PR agency GYMR is working on the campaign.

Kate Nicholas, p20

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