LONDON - The British government is making sure its citizens eat their fruits and vegetables with a voucher program that gives discounts on healthy foods, Reuters reports. The campaign is part of the government€™s Change4Life initiative that is working to lower the country€™s obesity rate via healthy eating and exercise.
The $390 million program is bankrolled by food manufacturers and will promote Sundays as good eating day. Millions of people will receive vouchers worth 50 pounds for discounts on such food products as frozen vegetables, fruit, wholegrain rice, low-fat yogurt and alcohol-free beef.
Companies offering the discounted vouchers include Bird€™s Eye, Kellogg, Mars, Nestle, Unilever and Warburtons, as well as some Adsa private-label brands and JJB Sports retailer. This is a "great example of how government, the media, industry and retailers can work together to help families to be healthy," said Andrew Lansley, Health Secretary.
But others questioned the move as one primarily of benefit to food companies. "Is it a public health strategy? No, it is a corporate brand protection strategy," said Tim Lang, a professor of food policy at City University.
Change4Life launched two years ago on the premise that if the initiative did not lower obesity rates within three years, the government would possibly consider food industry regulations.