North East healthy eating campaign rolled out across UK
Jul 29 2009 by Sara Nichol, The Journal
A HEALTHY eating programme trialled in the North East is to go nationwide, a Cabinet minister announced in the region yesterday.
Last November, the Department of Health ploughed £200,000 into corner shops to stock fresh fruit and vegetables and promote healthy eating as part of the national Change4Life campaign.
The plan began with just 12 shops in the North East, but proved such an overwhelming success that Health Secretary Andy Burnham in Newcastle yesterday declared it would be extended nationally.
The original 12 shops had a fruit and veg makeover, stocking a wide range of fresh produce alongside Change4Life posters and signs, while appointing a member of staff to champion fruit and vegetables in store.
Thousands of local shops can get help from Change4Life to sell healthy goods thanks to the success of the scheme, in which stores increased fresh produce sales on average by 40%.
Other initiatives meant some shops worked alongside schools and community groups, offering vouchers for 50p off selected fruit and vegetables, in an effort to move after-school snacking away from crisps and chocolate.
In the scheme’s last nine months in the North East, an additional 87 shops signed up and now about a third of shoppers say they will buy more fruit and veg from their local store in future.