Diabetes UK and Cancer Research Joining Forces

Diabetes UK and Cancer Research Joining Forces

Diabetes UK has joined forces with Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation to support the Department of Health's Change4Life campaign. We wanted to let our supporters know about this campaign - particularly those who are parents of children with diabetes.

From the end of February, joint advertising will be launched targeting all parents (not specifically those affected by diabetes) with messages about the links between obesity and heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. These are hard-hitting adverts, communicating to parents that to reduce the risk of their child developing any of these conditions in the future, they need to be aware of the importance of children eating a healthy, well balanced diet and being more active today.

Latest statistics show that over 80 per cent of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight at time of diagnosis. With increasing rates of childhood obesity, the situation does not appear to be improving.

That's why we feel it is important to be involved in this campaign as it is our opportunity to get the right messages out in the right way. It is our opportunity to raise awareness of the link between Type 2 diabetes and lifestyle factors, and to be part of a groundbreaking campaign that sees three leading charities working together with a mutual goal - that is, to highlight the serious consequences if trends around childhood obesity continue.

Some of the messages may be hard hitting but market research told us we had to be.
The campaign was developed using focus groups made up of mums from our target audience, and what these showed us was that the messages had to be direct enough to make them take notice and think "Could this be me and my kids?".

The advertising can be seen in women's weekly magazines from 23rd February 2009 and specifically targets parents of children under 11, particularly those whose current behaviours indicate that their children are at risk of curret or future weight gain.

You may have seen hanged4Life in the media in recent weeks. Launched in January this year, Changed4Life is an ambitious social marketing campaign from the Government that is looking to reframe the issue of childhood obesity and highlight the consequences of uhealthy lifestyles and weight gain in childhood.

From our perspective, Changed4Life is a great opportunity to highlight lifestyle as a key risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, and to take every opportunity to explain the differnce between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Being involved in this campaign, however, does not mean we have taken our focus away from the services and resources we provide for young people with diabetes. We continue to focus on Type 1 diabetes, including three interactive sections of our website aimed at children, teenagers and young adults and a new DVD. We're also running an ongoing campaign to improve the lives of children in schools and have launched a new text messaging / web based drive to raise awareness about Type 1 diabetes in children. As you may know, we provide lots of other services including leaflets, regular magazines aimed at the different age groups, materials for schools, holidays, family weekends and continue to fund research on children and Type 1 diabetes within our research programmes.

We're always keen to hear your feedback on these services, so if you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

If you would like further information or support please contact Diabetes UK's Careline on 0845 1202960 or visit our dedicated section of the website at www.diabetes.org.uk/mylife.

If you would like further information about the Change4Life campaign please visit www.diabetes.org.uk after 23rd February 2009 or contact Customer Services on 0845 1232399.

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