Childhood obesity can seem like a problem too overwhelming to be solved. We can combat fatalism by talking about the things we can do to improve children’s health – and explaining how these solutions work.
Not like this:
“We need to act now to combat the child health emergency in the UK. There’s a tidal wave of unhealthy food options and families are drowning. Our society is already damaged – and it will be irreparably damaged for generations unless something changes.”
“We need to act now to improve children’s health in the UK. The floodgates of unhealthy food options are open wide and our children don’t have enough healthy options and opportunities. Childhood obesity is a national emergency in the UK, but we can tackle this and help all children to be healthy with concrete steps that – if we work together – are within our reach.”
Use the 2:1 ratio – for every dose of urgency and crisis in our communications, we need to include at least two doses of “can-do”. This includes tone, as well as content.
Specific solutions are better than general ones – as long as they are proportionate to how we’ve explained the problem.