Using Tobacco Control Tactics To Tackle Obesity: The LiveLighter Campaign In Western Australia Focuses On Mass Communication And Policy Reform To Reduce Obesity
Terry SLEVIN, Cancer Council Western Australia, Australia
FINCH A. 1
, PRATT S. 1
, SWANSON M. 2
, SZYBIAK M. 2
, MORLEY B. 3
1 Cancer Council Western Australia, Perth, Australia
2 National Heart Foundation, WA Branch, Perth, Australia
3 Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Obesity is the most important cancer risk factor among non-smokers and action on obesity is urgently required.
Cancer Council Western Australia (WA) has partnered with National Heart Foundation (WA) on LiveLighter. The campaign was established in 2012 and draws heavily on Australian tobacco control strategies, including the use of graphic imagery to illustrate the health consequences of obesity. The campaign is well funded and features paid and unpaid mass media, and policy advocacy efforts to influence behavioural choices and promote public policies favourable to reducing obesity.
LiveLighter promotes a range of nutrition and physical activity messages with a recent focus on sugary drinks. Independent campaign evaluation data demonstrates that:
- Awareness of LiveLighter is higher in the target audiences (overweight people and parents)
- The focused sugary drinks phase had the most cut-through with unprompted awareness of television advertisements of 55% (c.f. 33% for phase 1 “toxic fat” and 45% for phase 3 “all advertisements”)
- The campaign minimises adverse consequences
- Negative perceptions of overweight people did not increase
- Intentions to lose weight among healthy weight respondents did not increase (slightly decreased)
The campaign has adopted three policy areas for focussed advocacy:
- Adoption of mandatory kilojoule labelling in takeaway food outlets in WA
- Meaningful restrictions on marketing of junk food to children
- Increased tax on sugar sweetened beverages.These policies have been enforced in at least one jurisdiction world-wide.
A long-term commitment to communication and policy efforts will be required to successfully tackle the international rise in obesity. The LiveLighter campaign and creative materials have been adopted by four jurisdictions around Australia and in New York. The campaign serves as an action oriented example of leading edge efforts to address obesity.
Western Australian Government, Department of Health