The latest Smart Swaps campaign has seen a record breaking number of people pledging to swap unhealthy food and drink for healthier alternatives this year.

With over 10,600 swaps signed up for by 10th March, the level of support is up by almost 75 per cent on 2014’s 6,380, with individuals and organisations from all over the city joining in.

Last year’s campaign saw Leeds signing up significantly higher numbers of Smart Swappers than comparable areas and the Leeds City Council Public Health team are delighted with the enthusiasm there has been to take the simple measures which will mean live healthier long term lives.

Emma Strachan, Health Improvement Specialist with Leeds City Council Public Health team, said:

“The campaign doesn’t end here – you can make Smart Swaps all year round. But this has been a great demonstration of how easy it is to get involved, with so many more people getting involved this year.

“We’ve had groups as varied as teams within the council taking part in workplace health challenges, the Leeds Rugby Foundation and Age UK getting involved, as well as hundreds of individuals and families.

“The campaign has also seen children coming to school having had breakfast instead of nothing before school and the kids love the swapping and have lots of ideas about what they can do to make a smart swap.”

As part of the campaign, both individual and organisational prizes for encouraging swaps were awarded.

Calverley Parkside Primary School – PE games kit

Hawksworth Wood Children’s Centre  – Summer school games kit

Asha Neighbourhood Project – £100 voucher for Red Hall Nursery to support a group or school to start a growing club

Horsforth Featherbank Primary School – The Works skate park class prize

Morley Newlands Primary – Leeds Rhinos Assembly

Tranmere Park Primary School – After School games kit

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of the Leeds and Health and Wellbeing Board said:

“It has been another fantastic year for Smart Swaps. Getting a healthy diet can make a big difference to your health and we know good food and drink habits early in life do a lot to help healthy life as you get older. We want Leeds to the best city for health and wellbeing, and I’m delighted we seem to be getting a reputation as the best city for Smart Swaps!”

Sophie Bell, from Tranmere Park Primary school staff, said:

“Smart Swaps have been great fun – a really inspiring way to make a change to what we eat and drink and what we do so we are a bit healthier. Being a Smart Swap winner makes it even better and we can’t wait to get the kit we have won into use!”

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