Change4Life is a public health social marketing campaign initiated by the Department of Health, United Kingdom's Health authority. The project came about as a result of Britain's growing obesity conundrum as Public Health experts had been warning that Britain was walking on an obesity time bomb and radical steps were needed to tackle the problem before it is too late. For example, The Department for Health spends about four billion pounds on obesity related illnesses annually (Oham et al 2009). However, a carefully planned social marketing campaign can drastically reduce this cost and the effects of obesity on the economy and the society at large.
Eat Well, Move More and Live Longer are three strands of the campaign. Since setting up a website resource for public engagement, over a million subscribers have joined. The televised adverts and other media resources such as video clips have reached a much wider audience. The Change for Life Programme has a network of national and local partners made up of voluntary organisation which consist of social enterprises, charities and NGO's who play an active role in spreading the message of healthy living. The programme strongly adheres to the key principles of social marketing.
Most of the messages from their campaign tenderly appeal to the sensibilities of their target group, children and adults. The messages inspires people to improve the quality of their life by making very simple but beneficial long term changes to their eating behaviour and physical activity.
The Chang4life programme demonstrates the effect of a well thought out social marketing campaign that can have significant health benefits for society at large.
Go to the Change4Life website (see link below) and select one of the campaigns, review the contents of a particular theme paying close attention to the literature and video clip. Discuss whether the programme is effective based on the seven stages of conducting a social marketing campaign elucidated in this chapter? Make suggestion on how the Department of Health can engage more than a million people that have currently signed up to their website and programme. Consider sending the Department of Health a proposal.