'Grabbable gut' grabbing attention


The LiveLighter campaign, aimed at tackling obesity by promoting healthier food and increased levels of physical activity, has shown in its first round of evaluation that the approach is working.

Chief Executive of the Heart Foundation in WA Maurice Swanson said the LiveLighter public education campaign was the first in the world to use a comprehensive, hard-hitting approach to tackle obesity, a major contributor to chronic disease including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several types of cancers.

Speaking at the Heart Foundation Conference (16-18 May) in Adelaide today, Mr Swanson said the confronting images are motivating those who are overweight or obese to make changes to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The evaluation of the campaign, designed and analysed by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer (CBRC) at Cancer Council Victoria, was conducted with a sample of approximately 1,000 randomly selected people in WA and in Victoria (the comparison group).

"Previous Heart Foundation research has shown one in six Australians who are classified as obese rate their health as very good or excellent. It appears that some people no longer consider carrying extra kilos to be a threat to their health," said Mr Swanson.

"LiveLighter used graphic images to cut through the thousands of messages we are all exposed to – including, of course, the barrage of advertising that promotes unhealthy foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar and salt.

"People who were overweight or obese were more engaged with the LiveLighter messages than previously conducted campaigns targeting obesity.

"Our evaluation data shows that exposure to the campaign prompted action to reduce risk. Six months into the campaign, there was a 7.3% increase among those confident that they needed to lose weight."

The LiveLighter campaign models appropriate behaviours to address unhealthy weight.

"We want people to make informed choices about their health and their lifestyles," Mr Swanson said.

"There was an increase in awareness of the seriousness of chronic disease among those exposed to the campaign.

"Overweight adults were not only aware of the campaign, but were planning to exercise more and had changed their food choices," he added.

The LiveLighter campaign is funded by the WA Health Department and run by the Heart Foundation in WA in conjunction with the Cancer Council of WA.

The 4th Heart Foundation Conference is proudly sponsored by Bupa – find a healthier you.

For more information visit www.livelighter.com.au.


Media contacts:
Kema Rajandran, Media and Communications Manager
T: (08) 9382 5913 / M: 0422 022518
E: kema.rajandran@heartfoundation.org.au or

Sandy Oliver, Media and Communications Manager
T: (08) 9382 5947 / M: 0403 348 749
E: sandy.oliver@heartfoundation.org.au