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Exploring family health
Exploring family health

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3.2 Change4Life

Obesity is such a great concern because it is linked to serious and life-limiting conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and disability (NHS Information Centre, 2012). With obesity in mind, you will now consider how a government-led initiative might influence families to change their diet and exercise.

Considering the importance of the family in influencing children’s eating habits, the government’s 2005 Action Plan included a number of key interventions to promote healthier eating habits within families. These included campaigns to support health education using advice and guidance (such as the 5 A DAY campaign you have already explored). The next activity will involve you finding information about a current health campaign aimed at families.

Activity 4: Browsing the Change4Life website

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Browse the Change4Life [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] website by clicking on the link to find some tips (aim for five) for enabling families to adopt healthy eating habits and increase the amount of exercise they take.

Click on the discussion to view some observations.


You probably found your way to sections which offer advice such as how to cut back on fat, sugar and salt, and ideas for taking exercise – for example, walking or cycling instead of travelling by car or public transport. Other sections of the site are aimed at making it easier to change by encouraging families to get involved in local activities.

The next section moves on to consider how the family is affected by illness.