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Gillian Marles
"Very small changes will make a difference to your health"
 real 28k

Consumer affairs reporter Gillian Marles
"Famous names gathered to lend their name to the campaign"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 23 February, 2000, 14:46 GMT
A campaign worth its salt

Nick Nairn and Susan Deacon
Nick Nairn and Health Minister Susan Deacon at the launch


Another attempt is being made to rid Scotland of its reputation as the sick man of Europe, with appalling records for heart disease, cancer and strokes.

The Health Education Board for Scotland (Hebs) is launching a TV advertising campaign to encourage people to take a small step towards a healthier life.

The four adverts feature celebrities demonstrating how easy it is to switch to a healthier way of living without losing out on the good things in life.

Paul Young Paul Young: "Cut down salt"
In one, celebrity chef Nick Nairn shows Gavin Hastings how to enjoy a healthy breakfast.

In another, Maureen Beattie uses 7,500 cigarette butts to remind smokers of the benefits of giving up.

Actor Tony Roper demonstrates everyday ways of getting fit, while TV fisherman Paul Young shows how food should be tasted before being salted.

Hebs spokesman Martin Raymond said: "People trust HEBS because we tell them the truth and we listen to what they have to say .

Healthy choices

"You can't change people's behaviour by TV ads alone, but you can help to push healthy choices into people's daily lives.

"Our new commercials are a mix of the serious and humorous. In our research people told us that they wanted advice that didn't involve parading around in tight shorts or forcing down your greens.

Hebs campaign poster Hebs has targetted smoking
"Through our advertising we have become a partner with the Scottish people in shortening the long shadow of poor health."

The current campaign is part of an assault on what Hebs calls the "Big Three": cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke.

Together they account for two-thirds of all deaths in Scotland.

The board's statistical experts point to some change in Scotland's dire health.

There has been a 23% increase in fruit consumption since 1998 and smoking rates have declined from 50% in 1976 to 31% in 1994.

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See also:
22 Feb 00 |  Scotland
14m for Scottish NHS
22 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Defusing Scotland's 'timebomb'
02 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Glasgow: Bad for your health?
02 Dec 99 |  Health
North-south health divide 'widening'

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