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One of the benefits of public expenditure cuts is the axe that has been taken to all those hectoring, patronising government advertisements. Now, you might have thought that telling ordinary people how to live their lives would be a popular cause amongst Guardianistas, but Zoë Williams in today’s paper seems to have seen at least a chink of light:
Diet initiatives, especially the Change4Life campaign, are much more controversial, even though this one looks cute and straightforward, with its multicoloured morph men telling you to eat more sweetcorn. On a food-swap wheel distributed in GPs' surgeries and children's centres, it told people to swap squash for a smoothie, when smoothies are 57 times more expensive than squash and also much more calorific. What it ultimately looked like was an attempt not to improve national health but to replicate the middle-class diet across the entire population – to say, in other words, that the reason you are obese is that you are insufficiently middle-class. Likewise, the Start4Life campaign attempted to recreate the "middle-class habit", although only 1% of the population does it, of exclusively breastfeeding their baby for the first six months.