Government puts PROs on alert for obesity drive

The Government is preparing to fire the starting gun in its search for PR support to drive forward major new plans to tackle levels of obesity.

Junk food: crackdown planned
Junk food: crackdown planned

The national obesity strategy, outlined last week, ­includes setting aside a ground-breaking £75m for an ‘aggressive' campaign to promote healthy living to parents. It is expected that a significant chunk of the £75m will be spent on PR agencies.

Department of Health ­director general of comms Sian Jarvis said the issuing of briefs was ‘fairly imminent', but she would not be drawn on precise timescales.

‘It will be in the next few months, but it depends on getting sign-off from the ministers,' she said. ‘We will be able to talk more about the plans by early summer.'

Laura Oliphant, MD of public sector specialist Geronimo PR, which handles the School Foods Trust's campaign to promote school dinners, commented: ‘The challenge is to keep people ­interested in an issue they're hearing a lot about. Also, getting young people to think about something that seems a long way away from them.'

The strategy will promote children's health and healthy food, as well as aim to build more physical activity into people's lives.

Nearly a quarter of UK adults and a fifth of children are obese after sharp rises in the past decade.

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