First graphic obesity TV campaign launched in Victoria


Victorians will come face-to-face with the health impacts of ‘toxic fat’ as the state’s first ever, hard-hitting campaign about the risks of being overweight or obese is launched today.

Cancer Council Victoria, in partnership with the Heart Foundation, with funding from the Victorian State Government will be delivering the mass media LiveLighter campaign which will air on TV across the state from tonight.

The public education campaign, announced today by the Minister for Health, Hon David Davis, graphically portrays the damage unhealthy weight, poor diet and physical inactivity can cause to internal organs.

The hard-hitting ‘toxic fat’ advert takes people inside their own bodies, showing the toxic build-up of visceral fat, which can dramatically increase the risk of developing serious health conditions.

The campaign has been designed to inform, encourage change and trigger fresh debate about obesity, chronic disease prevention and healthy lifestyle related issues. It is a critical element of the state government’s prevention system, Healthy Together Victoria.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Todd Harper, acknowledged the campaign was confronting but said so was the fact that nearly two-thirds of Victorians were overweight or obese.

“While talking about weight is a sensitive issue, we can’t shy away from the health impacts – we are eating ourselves to an early grave. In Victoria, three in five adults are overweight or obese increasing their risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer - along with a range of other health problems.”

This campaign aims to explain why fat around your waist and visceral fat around your internal organs is bad for your overall health, but it also provides plenty of practical tips, tools and resources that show how to maintain a healthy weight.

“The state government and local councils are already undertaking considerable work supporting Victorian communities and it is hoped this campaign will act as a powerful motivator encouraging Victorians to act now and reminding them that it’s never too late to make positive lifestyle changes,” Mr Harper said.

LiveLighter was developed by the Department of Health in Western Australia (WA) in partnership with the Heart Foundation and the Cancer Council of WA and has been implemented in WA since 2012.

“The results of this campaign are proven.Evaluation from the WA campaign shows that the campaign reached and resonated with those most at risk of weight-related chronic disease,” Mr Harper said.

Heart Foundation Victoria CEO Diana Heggie said helpingVictorians achieve and maintain a healthy weight needs to be a priority.

“Overweight and obesity is now one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in our community and carrying the extra kilos greatly increases your risk of chronic diseases,” Ms Heggie said.

“Everyone knows that it’s important to eat a balanced diet and be active, but many of us struggle to achieve this healthier lifestyle.The reality is that small, easy changes really do add up to make a big difference to your health,” Ms Heggie said.

The LiveLighter campaign is supported by a comprehensive, easy-to-use website, providing a wealth of information, resources and tools including an online meal and activity planner featuring healthy recipes that are easy to make.

36 year old Selena from Melbourne lost 40 kilos over the past four years through healthy eating and exercise.

“My life has improved so much since embarking this new healthy lifestyle. I no longer feel tired and I’ve been able to take up new hobbies, like yoga, Pilates and recently even learning the Argentinean tango. My advice to others is simple. Stop making excuses and start making small changes to see a big difference!”

The ‘toxic fat’ advert will be combined with advertisements about how to make small lifestyle changes to start living lighter. The Victorian campaign will feature on commercial television, newspapers, radio, outdoor, cinema and online across the state. The Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at Cancer Council Victoria will evaluate the campaign. LiveLighter is funded until June 2015.


Media contact:
Cairin Conway, Senior Media & Communications Advisor
T: (03) 9514 6403 or 0406 524 562