Universal policy asks

  • Make this a collective and inclusive issue that affects us all, especially young people, with a focus on improving health
  • Use the rivers metaphor to help people see that this is an issue that needs policy attention and avoid fatalism
  • Use the stage metaphor to advocate for changes to marketing and promotion
  • Avoid focusing in on individual families – this encourages people to see childhood obesity as an individual-level problem, requiring individual-level solutions.

Before:

As a society, we must tackle childhood obesity. We all have the ability to be healthy – and every day, we need to make the right choices that make this possible. Like the Thompson family in Fenton West, who signed our ‘Healthy Choices’ pledge – and made a daily commitment to eat healthily and stay active.

After:

As a society, we must put our children’s health first. We all need healthy options and opportunities to flourish and to thrive – and yet every day, we’re flooded with unhealthy food. Vending machines piled high, fast-food shops everywhere you look, buy-one-get-one free deals in every supermarket… it’s overwhelming for families. Our politicians can and must act to stem this flood.

See how Caroline Cerny of the Obesity Health Alliance put this into practice, with a media response

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