Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - Healthy eating ads launched - 9 January

Healthy eating ads launched - Governments all over the world are increasingly concerned about the growing obesity epidemic, which is largely caused by unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyles.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 9 January

Healthy eating ads launched

By Irena Barker

Governments all over the world are increasingly concerned about the growing obesity epidemic, which is largely caused by unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyles.

The rush to inform people about the risks of over-indulging on foods high in fat, salt and sugar comes as millions of people in boom nations such as India and China turn away from their healthier traditional diets in favour of fast food restaurants and supermarket treats.

In Britain only this week, the Government chose one of the country’s favourite TV soaps to launch a graphic television campaign highlighting the amounts of sugar and fat in popular foods.

The adverts during Coronation Street featured alongside commercials for the “health” ranges of leading British brands and traditional health foods such as Quorn. The government ads, which feature a family of colourful “Morph” type figures, highlight that a bottle of cola can contain 17 cubes of sugar and a pizza can contain as much as a wine glass full of fat.

They also highlight the startling statistics behind England’s growing weight problem: 62 per cent of adults and 30 per cent of 10 to 11-year-olds are overweight or obese, at a cost of £5bn a year to the National Health Service.

Meanwhile in the United States, which has the highest rate of obesity in the world at 35 per cent, First Lady Michelle Obama has spear-headed the “Lets Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity.

Key elements of the campaign include encouraging physical activity, improving school food and improving food labelling. One project included bringing chefs into schools to teach children how to cook and make healthy food choices.

President Barack Obama has also set up the Task Force on Childhood Obesity to review current programs and develop a national action plan.

In France, which has the lowest obesity rate in Europe, considerable action is being taken to maintain its status as the slimmest nation on the continent.

The Government has already outlawed fizzy drink and snack machines from schools. France has also put an extra tax on the advertising budgets of food companies which fail to encourage healthy eating.


  • What information would you include in an advert to promote healthy eating?
  • How could you find out more about which foods are good for you?
  • Do you think that campaigns such as this one will encourage people to change their eating habits? Why/why not?
  • What could we do in our school to help spread a message about healthy eating?

Related resources

Healthy eating collection

  • Hand-picked resources related to healthy eating including interactives, recipes, worksheets and healthy eating displays, lesson plans and games.

British Nutrition Foundation

  • Over 900 resources aimed at pupils aged 3 – 16, created by ‘Food a fact of life’, the education programme of the British Nutrition Foundation.

Eatwell plate worksheet

  • Help you class plan a healthy, balanced meal with this lovely worksheet.

TESiBoard food sorter activity

  • Drag food items into the basket, then sort the foods into groups, giving them appropriate labels on the Venn diagram.

Further news resources

First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide.

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

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Sandy Hook shootings put US gun control debate centre-stage.

The UK experienced its second wettest year on record in 2012, with warnings that the country faces a future of increasing downpours and floods.

Data from a national census conducted in 2011 has revealed that the UK is in the midst of "an astonishing era of demographic change", with the number of foreign-born residents rising by nearly three million since 2001.

In the news archive index