Make a Change4Life – NHS Anti Obesity Initiative

change4life lifestyle changes

The British National Health Service (NHS) has launched a new campaign, inviting people to “Change4Life“.

The aim of the campaign is to highlight the risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes that obesity poses to everyone, and how to reduce the chance of developing these life threatening diseases by losing weight and getting active.

Really this campaign is what MotleyHealth is all about – simple changes to live a more fulfilling life, by focussing on fitness, strength and weight loss.

The change4life campaign invites all people to join:

“Join the people across England who are already making a Change4Life. Change is more fun when we all do it together.

Join now and you will receive your free welcome pack and get the chance to create your very own Change4Life character.”

8 Easy Ways to Change4Life

The campaign concentrates on 8 ways to change:

  • Sugar Swaps – replacing sugar with healthy options
  • 5 a day – eating the recommended minimum amount of fruit and vegetables
  • meal time – making time for regular, proper meals
  • 60 active minutes – kids need to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity that gets their heart beating faster than usual
  • snack check – monitoring snacks, which are high in sugar, salt and fat. Reducing junk food.
  • me size meals – ensuring that children eat proportions to suit their size, and not eat adult portions
  • cut back fat – checking food labels, grilling instead of frying, trimming the fat off bacon
  • up & about – getting more active, setting maximum sitting allowances rather than exercise quotas

Change4Life is really the approach that we need to take to get the country moving again. Education about health, diet, nutrition and weight problems is all very well, but opportunities for action are required.

Without services, support groups and hands on advice, parents and children do not know what action to take to reverse their bad habits to start losing weight and getting fit and healthy again.

Hopefully this Change For Life initiative from the UK government will finally make a difference.

Change For Life Vouchers Encourage Healthy Eating

The UK Government’s Change4Life program has today launched a new initiative – Change4Life Food Vouchers, which is running alongside the Great Swapathon.

This is a partnership between Change4Life, a government health and fitness program, and several food and drink companies to provide people with an opportunity to buy healthy food at a discount.

In addition to the food vouchers the scheme is also providing healthy eating advice through nutrition leaflets and is also providing some discounted activities for families.

It is primarily targeted at families with children between 2 and 16 years of age.

“This year’s Change4Life activity – the Great Swapathon – will give mums and dads tips, help and advice to help them make 2011 the year they get their families healthy.”

The Great Swapathon is another initiative which provide people with healthy swaps, that is it is a system which suggests ways in which people can improve their health by exchanging unhealthy foods and drinks for healthier options, and also gives some clever tips on how people can reduce portion size to help control the amount of calories they consume each day.

Five Million £50 Voucher Books Up For Grabs

The food voucher scheme is currently limited to 5 million voucher books which will provide money off various healthy food items. To get a voucher book you will need to go to the Change4Life website and complete the Great Swapathon Questionnaire, and then hopefully receive a voucher book.

Through the Great Swapathon, families can get access to:

  • a £50 book of vouchers for money off healthier foods and activities;
  • recipes for healthier alternatives to favourite snacks;
  • recipes for family options for each meal time; and
  • nutritional and activity advice.

You can learn more about the scheme here:

Businesses and brands supporting the Great Swapathon Swap Vouchers

  • ASDA own brand includes lean meat cuts, king prawns, apples, clementines, grapes, baking potatoes, root vegetables.
  • Birds Eye – packs of Sweetcorn, Country Mix, Select Mix or Green Beans
  • Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
  • Unilever / Flora Light & Hellman’s Light
  • Nestle – Pure Life Water and Ski Yogurts – low fat varieties
  • Britvic / Robinsons No Added Sugar Squash and 4x200ml My-5 Fruit Shoot
  • Molson Coors / Cobra Zero Alcohol Free Lager
  • Mars / Uncle Ben’s Wholegrain Rice
  • Warburtons – Wholemeal Loaf
  • Tumble Tots – play sessions
  • JJB Sports – sports footwear
  • Weight Watchers
  • Haven Holidays
  • Play Providers Association
  • Fitness Industry Association

This really represents one of the first major changes in government intervention to help encourage people to live healthier lives once again. By limiting the food voucher books to 5 million families it ensures that only people that are serious about living a healthier life with get the money off vouchers. £50 (around US$75) is enough of an incentive to get most people interested.

Hopefully this government initiative will prove to be successful and set a trend for future schemes worldwide.

Please note that The Great Swapathon is only available to residents of England.

Learn more at the NHS Change4Life website.

9 Comments on “Make a Change4Life – NHS Anti Obesity Initiative”

  1. How do I get these vouchers? I tried that website and I cannot see any information on these vouchers. Is this some sort of wind up? I got 3 kids and was made redundant last year, so these vouchers will really help us all, but I seem stuck. I suspect that by the time I get through on the site or find the information I will be greeted with a message that says “sorry, all 5 million voucher books have been claimed, try again next year”.

    Why restrict it to 5 million? Why not just send them out to all families with children? Or, send out voucher books to all households? Maybe the UK Government are not really that serious about helping people to get fit and active and buy healthy food. It’s just a publicity trick.

    Sorry to rant. Call me Mr. Angry.

  2. MotleyHealth says:

    Yes, it is a bit confusing. We also tried to sign up and hit several error messages before being told that our email address is not accepted anymore! Apparently the vouchers will be sent once you sign up to the Swapathon site, but as nobody can access the site due to server problems, we cannot confirm yet.

  3. How the hell do I get these vouchers? I have spent half an hour attempting to find them. Is this a wind up?

  4. Chris Smith says:

    I just tried the site and signed up. You have to fill in a questionnaire but it only takes a minute, then the vouchers will be sent to you. I’ve heard the news of the world are to run a promotion too.

  5. MotleyHealth says:

    I will try again now, I guess the webmaster has been busy since starting work this morning after the bank holiday weekend!

  6. MotleyHealth says:

    Still getting the “Email already exists in our database. Please use a different email.” Very annoying. Tried requesting a new password, but that says not on system.

    Luckily I have another email address I can try ….

  7. MotleyHealth says:

    Gggrrr. Got through the whole questionnaire for the first time, but on the last button got the “Runtime Error” message with a page of computer generated text.

    So that means they now have both my email addresses stored, but I still have not “completed” the questionnaire.

  8. MotleyHealth says:

    Just spoke to Change4Life and they said that the best option is to wait for News of the World on Sunday, when the vouchers are being launched, or find an Asda store that is stocking the books, again, Sunday being the earliest you will be able to get one.

    He apologised for all the server problems, which are caused by high demand on the site.

  9. the website is now saying that in the news of the world on sunday the 9th of january there will be voucher books inside, and that on the 15th of January, selected asda stores with have the voucher books available

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