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Obese Kids Unmotivated byWeight Loss campaigns

said they wanted to eat healthier and exercise more - and 25 per cent of those who were close to their weight said the same.

Mr Veer, a lecturer in the marketing group at Bath University's School of Management, split the children into two groups - one of which was asked to draw a picture of themselves.

Following this the two groups were shown two advertising posters, a motivational poster that urged them to get in shape and the other an educational poster which gave specific advice on how to lose weight.

The study revealed that three -quarters of those who had drawn the picture of themselves - and who had therefore had to think about their bodies - said they would eat healthier and exercise more after seeing the advertisements compared to only 58 per cent of those who had not drawn a picture of themselves.

Mr Veer said: ‘These results show that when a student is thinking about their size, the use of ads to encourage them to eat healthier or be more active has a significant effect. This research shows getting young people to think about themselves frequently makes them much more receptive to campaigns giving information about how to eat more healthily and to exercise.’

‘TV shows such as those involving Jamie Oliver and school dinners are an excellent starting point since they will make school children think about their weight - without making the children feel like they are not attractive or worthless. These types of messages don't work.’

According to Mr Veer, "Health professionals should bear this in mind when they come to create campaigns or their efforts could be a waste of resources."
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