Health professionals should use the same tactics as the tobacco and fast food industries to target key social groups, according to a government minister.
In an interview with careandhealth.com, public health minister Caroline Flint says: 'There's a lot we can learn from the commercial sector in terms of how they target consumers and keep them on board'. She calls on PCTs and local authorities to use the same tools as the industries behind the increases in obesity and heart disease.
She argues that this is the idea behind the NHS's new anti smoking ads — get unhooked.
'There's a lot we can learn from the commercial sector in terms of how they target consumers and keep them on board. We have to think clearly about what kind of messages might appeal to one group of people that don't have the same appeal to others,' she says.
'More and more we have to be smarter in terms of our approach to public health using the skills of social marketing to better identify people who need support and make better use of our resources to achieve the results.'
She said the new approach to tackling smoking would be widened to find ways of reducing what experts now call the obesity epidemic and alcohol misuse.
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