Graphic 'toxic fat' ads are back


Hard-hitting TV advertisements showing graphic images of the serious damage being overweight can cause internal organs will screen across the state again from tonight.

This is the second major phase of LiveLighter, a public education campaign being delivered by the CancGraphic ‘er Council Victoria and the Heart Foundation, with funding from the Victorian State Government, LiveLighter is part of Healthy Together Victoria - a critical public health initiative addressing the soaring rates of obesity across Victoria.  

The adverts take people inside their own bodies and show the toxic build-up of visceral fat on internal organs caused by unhealthy weight, poor diet and physical inactivity, which is proven to increase the risk of developing life-threatening health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease as well as a range of cancers.

Head of Prevention at Cancer Council Victoria, Craig Sinclair, acknowledged the campaign was confronting but that early evaluation shows it is working.

“Yes, the ads are confronting and yes, they may shock many people. However, it’s important to be upfront about the serious health risks associated with being overweight. Results from the first phase of the campaign show that people who have seen the ads are more aware of the serious health consequences of being overweight,” Mr Sinclair said.

“Almost 7,000 Victorians have signed up to the program’s meal and activity planner since the program commenced in November. The fact that we are motivating positive lifestyle changes across such a large number of people is extremely promising and reinforces the value of campaigns such as this.”

 Heart Foundation Victoria’s Director of Cardiovascular Health Programs Kellie-Ann Jolly said the LiveLighter campaign is vital in addressing Victoria’s expanding obesity problem.

“The average Victorian man now weighs 85kg, which is 6.2kg more than 25 years ago and the average woman has gained 4.9kg and weighs 70.2kg,” Ms Jolly said.

“Overweight and obesity is now one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in our community. Carrying extra weight dramatically increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

LiveLighter launched in August 2014 with the aim of encouraging Victorians to lead healthier lives by making changes to what they eat and drink, and being more active.  The 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.

Mother of three, Lucy Forwood, has lost six kilograms since she joined LiveLighter in December 2014.

“I began to really worry about my size late last year.  I was the heaviest I’d ever been and something had to change.  Seeing these ads is what made me decide to sign up to the Meal and Activity Planner. There are no pills, potions or expensive meal plans - the program is specifically designed so your new habits can become part of your everyday life. LiveLighter has changed the way I think about food and exercise and is something I can keep on doing.”

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 cinema and online across the state.


Media Contacts:

Shannon Crane on 0432 157 270 or

Sarah Terry on 0423 827 697