Health promotion campaigns worth few million dollars do not change people's behavior and are a mere waste of money and other resources, argue nurses . Additionally, they have also called for directing these funds to treat patients and target at-risk groups rather than spending the amount on hosting high-profile advertising pushes.
The issue would even be taken up for discussion at the Britain's Royal College of Nursing that would host an annual conference at Bournemouth on Sunday. The Health Department of Britain has spent millions on advertising campaigns to encourage healthy lifestyles over the past five years.
Such anti-smoking campaigns, safe-sex advertisements and those that encourage people to indulge in fruits and vegetables have failed to create an impact amongst the general public. A public health forum of the RCN, called 'Getting it wrong?' further supports the fact that money has been wasted.
The poster campaign about HIV/AIDS has spent more than $140 million of the Government funds. Yet there has been a 50% increase in the HIV/AIDS cases from 2000 to 2004 in Britain. The numbers of heterosexuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS outnumber the homosexual transmissions. The incidence rates of sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhoea has continued to soar, specifically among adolescents.
Although a sum of $2 million has been spent on a food promotional campaign, encouraging people to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, there has been no significant increase in the percentage of people who eat healthy food. As little as 205 of women and 18% of men eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. This being the situation, this year, an amount of $85 million would be spent on provision of free fruits in schools.
Turning on to the anti-smoking campaign, the National Health Service (NHS) has spent several millions to bring down the smoking rate to 21% by the end of 2010. An amount of $145 million has been sanctioned as a part of the budget allocation. Despite this gross spending there has been just a 3%. More importantly, the smoking rates among the younger generation, which is particularly vulnerable to advertising claims, have increased over the recent years.