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More Advice On Healthy Living, UK

November 12, 2017

Department of Health response to Health Survey for England

New public health campaigns launched in 2008 and 2009 will help people understand Government guidelines around healthy eating, exercise and drinking alcohol Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo outlined today.

Responding to figures released by the NHS Information Centre, the Department of Health highlighted that ongoing and future campaigns would help people to live more healthily.

The Know Your Limits Units campaign, launched in May, is getting across the message that men should not regularly exceed three to four units and women should not regularly exceed two to three units of alcohol a day.

The aim of the Smokefree legislation, introduced in July 2007, was to cut the harm caused by second hand smoke and it is working. Air quality in pubs and bars has improved dramatically from "unhealthy" average levels before 1 July 2007, to levels that are comparable to outdoor air.

Next month sees the launch of the ambitious Change4Life movement. Change4Life will help families recognise the danger that a poor diet and lack of exercise can cause to their health. It will give advice on how to maintain a healthy diet and be more active. The campaign will include information on portion size.

And the survey shows people know the importance of healthy living. It shows a second successive year in which levels of obesity in two to ten year olds are below the decade-long rising trend that the Health Survey for England began to measure in 1995.

The next few years will be a crucial period in confirming whether these promising results are part of a new trend.

Commenting on the survey, Ms Primarolo said:

"It's good to see that more people are taking steps to live more healthily. Today's figures show that the levels in childhood obesity may be beginning to level out - that's good news but too many people are overweight. In the New Year we will launch our ambitious Change4Life movement. Change4Life will help families to move more, eat well and live longer.

"Thanks to the Know Your Limits campaign more people now know how many units are in their drinks. And the smokefree law is the single most important public health initiative for a generation. Because of the new smokefree law, thousands of lives will be saved and the health of everybody is being protected."

Mid-year tracking research on the Know Your Limits campaign has shown that we have already been successful in raising awareness of the:

* Number of units in drinks: the percentage of people correctly saying that there are three units in a large glass of wine (250ml at 12.5 per cent ABV) rose from 6 - 21 per cent.

* Daily units guidelines: those giving the correct figure for men (3-4 units) has risen from 29-34 per cent and for women (2-3 units) has risen from 34 -37 per cent.

The Government has delivered an ambitious programme to reduce the impact of tobacco use in our communities over the last ten years. As a result of Government Action, smoking in England has fallen from 28 per cent of adults in 1998 to 22 per cent in 2006. And for children aged 11-15, from 13 per cent in 1998 to 6 per cent in 2007.


1. Change4Life is a lifestyle revolution involving thousands of local organisations and charities which will help mums, dads and families eat well, move more and live longer. Under the banner Change4Life, the Government is galvanising support from everyone in the country from grass roots organisations to leading supermarkets and charities.

2. This means that, from January onwards, families will start to see new local initiatives providing support, help and advice to help them live more healthily. For example, there will be healthy food promotions and recipes in supermarkets, walking campaigns, cycling groups or free swimming for under 16s and over 60s. This will be backed up by a major advertising campaign. Anyone who wants to get involved with Change4Life should register at nhs/change4life

3. 5 A DAY continues to see a rise in child consumption of fruit and vegetables since 2003. The 5 A DAY - Just Eat More (fruit & veg) programme will continue to develop initiatives to promote its health message to all audiences (primarily young families and children) ensuring integration and increased promotion of its message via the soon to be launched Change4Life campaign.

4. One year on, Smokefree legislation has been a big success and changed lives - including healthier environments for people whose jobs exposed them to second hand smoke. Smokefree law has created a supportive environment to help smokers quit the habit with a 22 per cent increase in the number of people quitting with local NHS Stop Smoking Services compared to the same period in 2006/07 between April and December 2007.

5. The first burst of the Know Your Limits campaign launched on 19th May 2008 and ran on TV, posters, press, radio, online (using search), mobile phones (promoting units messages via 118 118) and featured PR and a new website including advice on drinking sensibly (inc. a downloadable units calculator). The campaign restarted on 17 November and runs to the end of January featuring TV, posters, press, online and partnership activity with gyms.

Department of Health, UK