Shock government ad campaign reveals ‘hidden nasties’ in our food to curb obesity

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
7 January 2013

We know fizzy drinks aren’t exactly slimming but would you be more tempted to put down your bottle of cola if you knew it contained 17 whole sugar-cubes?

The Government hopes so, as it launches a new advertising campaign designed to tackle the growing obesity problem.  

Using an animated family, the ad reveals the shocking amount of unhealthy ingredients lurking in our food by putting the amounts of fat, sugar and salt into context. For example, it demonstrates how a large pizza contains a whole wine-glass full of fat.

Made by Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman, the ad is designed to make us think twice about what we eat, by showing us visually the ‘hidden nasties’ our favourite foods contain. 

[Related: Is healthy food making you fat?]

Experts have warned that even so-called health foods can contain far too much sugar and salt, but because the packaging highlights their health benefits, we don’t realise they’re not good for us.

The commercial will first air on ITV during Coronation Street and is part of the first ever health-focused ad break on the channel. Other ads to be aired include Asda, Quorn and Cravendale, which give ideas and recipes to help viewers create healthier meals.

The Government project Change4Life, which is backing the adverts, already claims to have changed the behaviour of a million mums when it comes to food and exercise.

This new push is aimed at making us more aware of how bad for us some commonly eaten fast and processed foods are, as the Government tries to tackle the £5 billion the NHS already spends a year on obesity-related problems.

[Related: The real reason you're overweight]

There has even been talk of limiting the amount of unhealthy ingredients manufacturers can put into their products.

Will visualising the amount of fat in a pizza put you off eating it is the question? Tell us what you think on Twitter.

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