A NEW campaign to expose the hidden nasties in everyday foods is launched today, after a survey highlighted widespread ignorance in the North-East about the food people eat.

The new campaign - launched today (Monday, January 7) by Public Health Minister Anna Soubry - is aimed at helping people to be 'food smart'.

A recent survey undertaken in the North-East revealed that more than half (58 per cent) of people in the region do not know that there are 11 lumps of sugar in a can of cola.

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And more than half - 55 per cent - of people in the North-East are not aware that a large takeaway pepperoni pizza has twice the recommended maximum daily intake of saturated fat.

Graphic new advertising from Change4Life reveals a shocking 17 sugar cubes in a bottle of cola and more than a wine glass of fat in a large pizza.

The Change4Life adverts, which are made by Aardman, the creators of Wallace and Gromit, are launched in conjunction with a range of food manufacturers and ITV which will host the first ever health-focussed ad break.

Ms Soubry said: "Making healthier, balanced meals on a budget can be a challenge for families. This new Change4Life campaign offers families free healthy recipes and money off those much needed cupboard essentials to encourage everyone to try healthy alternatives.

"England has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe with over 60 per cent of adults and a third of ten and 11-year-olds overweight or obese.

"We want to make it easy for everyone to keep track of what they eat and make healthier choices. That is why we are also developing a simple and clear system for front of pack labelling that everyone can use."

The 'ad takeover', which will air during prime-time in Coronation Street, marks the launch of a new year healthy eating drive and will feature ads from Asda, Quorn, Uncle Ben's, the Co-Operative Food and Cravendale.

There will also be hundreds of offers on healthier products at more than 1,000 Asda, Aldi and the Co-Operative Food stores across the country to give a helping hand with the cost of kitchen cupboard basics.

The Northern Echo: HELPING HAND: The family, made by Ardman, receive a meal mixer with healthy food ideas

Everyone that signs up to the campaign will get a free 'Food Smart Meal Mixer' with lots of quick, easy, healthier recipes. To sign up to get healthy tips search Change4life.