Healthy changes with Smart Swaps

Public Health experts in Leeds are kicking off 2014 by supporting Smart Swaps – a national campaign to help families cut sugar and saturated fat from their everyday snacks, drinks and meals.

Throughout January, Leeds is supporting ‘Smart Swaps’, the new Change4Life campaign which encourages and supports families to cut sugar and saturated fat from their everyday snacks, drinks and meals by making easy, healthy ‘like for like’ swaps to their diets

As part of the campaign, a roadshow will be visiting Trinity Leeds on Saturday 11th January between 9am and 5.30pm, with activities, cooking demonstrations and a Sign up zone, where people can sign up to Change4Life and receive a free goody bag and information on healthy eating.

Change4Life is calling on families across Leeds to join others across the country in signing up to the smart swaps campaign and make one easy change – like swapping to a healthy school meal or swapping takeaways to cooking from scratch. Families who sign up to the national campaign will receive a free smart swapper full of healthier swap and meal ideas, money off vouchers and fridge magnets.

Emma Strachan, Leeds City Council Public Health team Health Improvement Specialist, explains how you can get involved locally:

“In Leeds we are running a local ‘smart swapathon’ to coincide with the national campaign which will run from Monday 13th January until Friday 24th January. We have also made some suggested swaps that we are encouraging in Leeds to help you get started:

• Sign up for the totalizer challenge: Your school, organisation, staff team, or other group can sign up to the campaign at www.leedsletschange.co.uk/smartswaps to enter our totalizer challenge

• Make drink swaps – swapping fizzy pop for sugar free juice, milk or water.

• Make breakfast swaps – swapping no breakfast to healthy breakfast to start your day.

• Make school meals swap – swapping to schools meals.

• Make cooking swaps – swapping takeaways and ready meals to cooking from scratch –the Leeds Lets Change website (www.leedsletschange.co.uk) has lots of advice about support, including Jamie’s Ministry of Food Leeds based in Leeds Kirkgate Market.

• Make Activity Swaps – finding new ways to be active – by joining Leeds Let’s Get Active (www.leedsletsgetactive.co.uk) you can get free gym and swim sessions across the city seven days a week, as well as other activities in community venues including walking and family multisports.”

The Smart Swaps totalizer is a little bit like a money box and includes counters to measure the swaps made. Once registered organisations will be sent a totalizer and for every swap people pledge to make a counter can be added to the totalizer.

The New Year will see campaigns targeting a range of public health issues, including obesity, alcohol abuse and tobacco harm, as well as communicable diseases and air pollution. Linking with national campaigns and tackling areas which need most support will be underlying aims behind activities in 2014 as Leeds faces up to widening inequalities, an increasing young and older population and reduced public sector funding.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“January always makes us want to eat healthily and Change4Life’s Smart Swaps campaign makes it easy to make a change to our lifestyles and feel better for it. Leeds has been making some real progress on health and wellbeing, and we’re determined to do more to reduce the life expectancy gap between communities. But we know that we face a challenge in coming years as we deal with the impact of financial constraints.

“As well as Smart Swaps, our teams are offering help with stopping smoking, sexual health issues, cancer, obesity and alcohol, along with a wide range of other issues. We know that investing in health protection and prevention will save lives and save money, and we are committed to helping people live healthier, longer lives.”

The Leeds let’s change website has information, resources and advice which can help you have a healthier, happier new year.

Notes for editors

Smart Swaps event venue:

Ground Floor (outside Marks & Spencer) - Trinity Leeds, Albion St, Leeds, Yorkshire LS1 5AT

Date: Sat 11th Jan

Opening Hours: 9am – 5:30


Supermarket Zone – with Supermarket Scanner game and Rowing Race

Cooking demonstrations with fun, healthy recipes

• All schools should automatically be receiving a “Smart Swaps” school resource pack with lots of creative ways in which the campaign can be embedded into the curriculum.

• Smart Swap is a registered trade mark of the Licensor and is used under license

• To sign up for Smart Swaps this January, Search Change4Life online

• Those who sign up to the campaign will receive the Smart Swapper tool, fridge magnets and a tailored programme of support

Issued by:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team – Public Health

Leeds City Council

4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 0772 227 5370

Tel: 0113 395 0393

Fax: 0113 247 4736