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Regional daily’s health drive for city hits targets

A campaign by a regional daily which set three ambitious health targets for the residents of its city has been hailed a success.

Glasgow-daily the Evening Times launches its Glas-goals campaign in January last year to tackle the city’s ‘appalling’ health record.

The campaign, launched with five partner organisations, set residents the targets to walk, run or cycle a million miles, shed half a million pounds in weight and stub out one million cigarettes.

And these have all now been achieved, with the drive to urge people to quit smoking greatly exceeding its target, with 15m cigarettes not lit.

The paper celebrated the achievements of its health campaign in a supplement.

In a supplement to mark to success of the campaign, Evening Times editor Tony Carlin said: “Glasgow’s appalling health record is a disgrace. The tag of Sick Man of Europe is one which has haunted generations of Glaswegians who have died far too early.

“That’s why, as Glasgow’s newspaper, we decided it was time to play our part in addressing the lifestyle issues which contribute to our problems.

“It was important we got over the message that a healthy lifestyle isn’t just calorie-counting and hours on the treadmill. Healthy living can be fun too.

“Working closely with our partners, in what became the biggest and most successful campaign of its type in Scotland, we set out to make a difference and to have a few laughs along the way.

“What was key to the project was to get the whole of Glasgow involved, from the very young to our senior community, from inspirational elite athletes, to those for whom a walk to the shops was a challenge. And what a year we had.”

Readers have wallked, run, swum and cycled a final total of 1,000,293 miles, stubbed out 15m cigarettes and lost 514,216 pounds in weight.

The campaign, run in partnership with Glasgow City Council, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow Housing Association, Glasgow Life, and Glasgow 2014, was applauded in the Scottish Parliament and held up as a model for other public health drives.

A number of high-profile events were staged as part of the campaign, including an Easter bunny hop for youngsters, a Bollywood danceathon and a tea dance last September, which set a Guinness World Record for being the biggest ever held.