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Purchases of sugary drinks fell by over eight per cent in January 2014 compared to last year, with a sustained drop in sales of five per cent to May.
The Government say the successful drop in sales of unhealthy sugary and fizzy drinks is due to Public Health England’s (PHE’s) Change4life campaign which over 400,000 families are now signed up to.
The campaign encourages families to make ‘smart swaps’ in their food choices to cut fat and sugar from their diets. Changing fizzy drinks for sugar free options has been the most popular swap made by families keen to improve their overall health and eating habits.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE said: “The reduction in the purchase of sugary drinks over January 2014 compared to the same period in 2013 is encouraging. Because this reduction coincides with the period of the Change4Life Smart Swaps campaign it suggests the influence marketing can have on behaviour change.
“Eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of starchy foods, fruit and vegetables and eating less salt, saturated fat and sugar, together with being more active, will help people to maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.”
The focus of the PHE’s new marketing strategy has been outlined, which will focus on three life stages; Starting Well, Living Well and Ageing Well.
Sheila Mitchell, marketing director at PHE said: “The Change4Life Smart Swaps campaign, which ran in January 2014, generated more than three million unique visitors and was supported by the majority of local authorities and thousands of discount offers in Asda, Co-operative Food, Aldi and Lidl stores. Sales data show an 8.6 per cent reduction in the purchase of sugary drinks compared to the same period the previous year.”