'Grabbable guts' campaign aims to cut toxic fat

A new campaign takes a graphic approach to exposing the need for healthy living.
A new campaign takes a graphic approach to exposing the need for healthy living.  

Some Australians will come face-to-face with what potentially lies under their skin after a graphic advertising campaign highlighting the dangers of being overweight or obese was launched on Sunday night.

The 'Live Lighter' campaign, funded by the Heart Foundation ACT and the ACT Government, takes people inside the human body and shows the damage that an unhealthy weight, poor diet and physical inactivity can cause to internal organs.

Based on anti-smoking campaigns, the advertisements show graphic, internal images of "toxic fat" surrounding vital organs, and warn of the links between a "grabbable gut" and chronic diseases.

Heart Foundation ACT chief executive Tony Stubbs said while the campaign was graphic, it was necessary to get the message through to the public.

"The campaigns we've had and the communication we've had around weight in the past hasn't worked: 63 per cent of Canberra adults are overweight or obese," he said.

"You need to do something that people will sit up and take notice of. We do feel people actually want to live healthier but they either don't see it's a problem for them, they don't know how to do something about it, or they think 'it's someone else's issue, not mine'."

In particular, the imagery used of the "spare tyre" around the middle is one that Stubbs said many people can relate to.

"What the message really is with the 'grabbable gut' is that if you do have that visceral fat or grabbable gut, it's sitting around your organs, and your heart and kidney and liver, and it's actually doing damage right now to those organs," he said.


Stubbs said that the winter months in Canberra can be tough to encourage people to get moving, but this time of year is when people start to feel more motivated.

"If we can encourage as many Canberrans to start thinking about eating better and getting more active and getting into these habits now, during winter it won't be a problem for them."

The Live Lighter campaign comprises of television, radio and print advertisements, and refers the public through to a website with free resources.

"There's top tips, a meal planner and lots of case studies. It's a resource that's there for people to go and find out what works for them, and to develop a bit of a strategy to make some small changes," said Stubbs.

"Because even just small changes to the way you eat and how active you are can have a big impact on reducing your chances of getting heart disease, cancers and diabetes as well."

The three television commercials, radio commercial and print advertising, will run for a couple of months before the initial review, and directs the public to free, online resources.

Find out more about the campaign, get tips and health advice, and assess your own risk of toxic fat at livelighter.com.au