safefood campaign safeguards children’s long-term health

2 December, 2005. safefood, the Food Safety Promotion Board will launch a new advertising campaign this week, aimed at encouraging parents to prevent long term health problems developing in their children by reducing the amount of treat foods in their children’s diet. 

Supporting the need for such a campaign are the findings from the National Children’s Nutrition Survey. According to the survey, conducted by the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance survey, 20% of boys are either overweight, or obese and 23% of girls are over weight, or obese. The same survey revealed that almost 20% of the calories in children’s diet come from treat foods. These foods can be high in fat, or saturated fat, which may also be detrimental to children’s heart health in the long-term.

The outdoor execution features an image of a lunchbox packed with foods that have little nutritional value. The lunchbox on the right is empty, underlining the poor nutritional value of these treat foods. The line in the middle says it all - ‘The one on the right is almost as nutritious’.

Speaking about the new campaign, Dr. Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Chief Public Health Specialist, safefood said, “Parents need to be aware of the health risks associated with a diet high in fat, especially saturated fat. A large source of saturated fat comes from treat foods such as chocolate, crisps and cakes. We are not recommending that parents cut treats out of the diet altogether. We are simply encouraging parents to treat treats, as treats. By reducing the quantity of treats given to children, parents will decrease their child’s risk of long-term health problems”.

Ian Brower, Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather said, 'It is no easy task to persuade parents to rethink how they feed their children. You cannot just use shock tactics, nor can you simply be informative. We had to find a creative vehicle that allowed us to do both. Using a lunchbox as a metaphor, enabled us to do just that'

The campaign also includes a print execution, which asks the question, Are you packing them off with long term health problems? It is designed to empower the reader. It aims to deliver behavioural change, through presenting the facts, one of which is a powerful message – ‘Coronary artery disease has its root in childhood’. Like the outdoor execution, it does not tell parents to cut treats out totally, but rather reduce the quantity.


For further information please contact

Andrew Hyland      
Tel: 01 6690030      


Fiona Gilligan
Tel: 01 4480607