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Families offered £250 million vouchers to eat well and get fit

Food industry and media tie-up offers discounts on healthy food and exercise

Mark Gould

Tuesday, 04 January 2011

The government is offering five million £50 voucher books to families to encourage exercise and healthier lifestyles.

The vouchers which will be available through the News of the World and in Asda supermarkets, offer discounts on healthier foods and sport and leisure. They will be offered to families who swap unhealthy habits and activities for healthy ones.

The “Great Swapathon” scheme was launched today by health secretary Andrew Lansley as part of the Change4Life programme which focuses on improving children’s diet and levels of activity among adults and children.

The government is aiming to deliver one million swaps from unhealthy to healthier lifestyle choices, among families and adults in England.

Through the Great Swapathon, families can get access to:

* a £50 book of vouchers for money off healthier foods and activities;
* recipes for healthier alternatives to favourite snacks;
* recipes for family options for each meal time; and
* nutritional and activity advice.

The £250 million voucher booklet scheme will help to incentivise people to make pledges and swaps. Four million £50 voucher books will be available through News of the World and ASDA stores - as well as one million through Change4Life supporters in the community.

The new partnership between government, industry and the media sees food and drink manufacturers and activity providers join together with the Government, News of the World and Asda, to support families to choose healthier options.

Mr Lansley said: “This is a very exciting initiative. It’s a great example of how Government, the media, industry and retailers can work together to help families to be healthy.

“The healthy option isn’t always the cheapest option so it’s a really important step to be able to offer £50 off healthier foods, drinks and activities. Asda is even offering 20 per cent off dining room furniture to encourage families to sit round a table together for meals.

“I’d like to thank all the partners involved in this exciting project and I hope that it leads to more and more help from industry to support healthy choices."

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