Can public health interventions change immediate and long-term dietary behaviours? Encouraging evidence from a pilot study of the U.K. change4life sugar swaps campaign

Daniel J. Lamport*, Szu Yun Wu, Jenni Drever-Heaps, Orla Hugueniot, Daniel J.W. Jones, Orla B. Kennedy, Claire M. Williams, Laurie T. Butler

*Corresponding author for this work

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    The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the U.K. Change4Life Sugar Swaps campaign for improving nutritional intake in a small sample of families prior to the 2015 nationwide launch. A total of 49 participants from 14 families received information and materials during a two-week intervention period in November 2014 encouraging them to swap high sugar foods and drinks for low sugar alternatives. Daily dietary intake was reported with online food diaries over four stages, each two weeks in length: (i) baseline (no information provided), (ii) intervention when Sugar Swaps materials were accessible, (iii) immediate follow-up, and (iv) one year on from baseline. Data were analysed for sugar, glucose, fructose, sucrose, lactose, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, protein, salt, fibre, vitamin C, and energy. During the intervention, significant daily reductions of 32 g sugar, 11 g fat, and 236 kcal for each family member were observed, among others, and 61% of benefits achieved during the intervention period were maintained at immediate follow-up. Encouragingly, for children, reductions in sugar, sucrose, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, and energy were observed one year on. The Sugar Swaps Campaign is potentially an effective public health intervention for improving short-and long-term dietary behaviour for the whole family.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number68
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information: This research was supported by a grant from Public Health England (grant number H5208600).

    As stated in the author contributions, O.H., an employee of Public Health England and co-author of this manuscript, contributed to the research questions and experimental design. The funder made no contributions to data collection, data analysis, or preparation of the manuscript. There are no other conflict of interest to declare.

    Open Access: . This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

    Publisher Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Citation: Lamport, D.J.; Wu, S.-Y.; Drever-Heaps, J.; Hugueniot, O.; Jones, D.J.W.; Kennedy, O.B.; Williams, C.M.; Butler, L.T. Can Public Health Interventions Change Immediate and Long-Term Dietary Behaviours? Encouraging Evidence from a Pilot Study of the U.K. Change4Life Sugar Swaps Campaign. Nutrients 2022, 14, 68.

    DOI: https://


    • Change for life
    • Dietary intervention
    • Nutrition
    • Public health
    • Sugar
    • Sugar swaps


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