Un-making Obesity in the UK’s Change4Life Health Promotion
MetadataShow full item record
Commencing in 2009, the UK Department of Health has implemented a health promotion scheme named Change4Life. Change4Life attempts to “drive, coax, encourage & support people [to] eat well, move more & live longer” (2009, p. 3). With a marketing and promotions budget exceeding 75M pounds sterling over 3 years, Change4Life is certainly “on a scale never previously witnessed” (Department of Health, 2009, p. 6). In order to understand more about the dynamics employed in the Change4Life marketing, this research critically examines a central aspect of the campaign - the notion of “simplicity” (or simple marketing messages) in the context of a “complex” social problem. We use a semiotic methodology to consider the tensions & tactics that occur in the production and presentation of the Change4Life marketing campaign. Specifically, we examine the logic of the Change4Life marketers which omitted all references to, & images of obesity. Various reasons were offered for this omission including the insulting nature of the term and the apparent lack of understanding about obesity by parents. While well-intentioned, we argue the omission of obesity contributes to the stigma that currently surrounds it. Further we argue that this silence about obesity neglects the apparent need of some parents to develop understanding about the issue. References UK Department of Health. (2008). Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: Consumer Insight Summary. London, England: UK Department of Health. UK Department of Health. (2009). Change4Life Marketing Strategy. London, England: UK Department of Health.
XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology Book of Abstracts
© The Author(s) 2010. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this conference please refer to the conference’s website or contact the author(s).
Sport and Leisure Management