Vouchers help families take healthy option

Families in England are being offered £250m worth of free vouchers in a bid to encourage them to lead more healthy lifestyles.

The money-off tokens, which will give discounts on healthy foods and activities, are being rolled out as part of Change4Life's "Great Swapathon".

Parents will also be offered access to nutritional advice and recipes as an incentive to make healthy changes in their family's food and fitness habits.

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Four million 50 voucher books will be available through the News of the World newspaper and Asda supermarkets while one million will be handed out through local businesses which have signed up to Change4Life, the Government's health initiative.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "This is a very exciting initiative. It's a great example of how Government, the media, industry and retailers can work together to help families to be healthy.

"The healthy option isn't always the cheapest option so it's a really important step to be able to offer 50 off healthier foods, drinks and activities."

An online tool "Your Great Swapathon" has also been launched on the Change4Life website where users are given tips on how to swap unhealthy behaviours in food, alcohol and physical activity, for healthier ones.