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Cholesterol Uncovered

New PR campaign in UK starring Davina McCall to highlight the hidden dangers of high cholesterol.

The new heart health campaign, being launched in the UK by Raisio Nutrition Ltd, aims to highlight that anyone can be at risk of high cholesterol, as it currently affects six in 10 adults in the UK.

A new public health campaign launched today, fronted by TV presenter and fitness activist Davina McCall, highlights the risks of one of the UK’s biggest silent health threats – high cholesterol. The campaign, called Cholesterol Uncovered, is being launched by Raisio Nutrition. The campaign aims to raise awareness and improve knowledge of high cholesterol: it goes under the skin to reveal the true impact of cholesterol and the importance of looking after our heart health.

Our purpose

Food for Health, Heart and Earth.


The importance of cholesterol for all ages and lifestyles

Cholesterol affects six in 10 adults in the UK, but despite this, both awareness and knowledge of cholesterol is low – even many health-conscious people, like Davina, mistakenly believe they aren’t at risk. With no visible symptoms, it’s no wonder the topic is not getting the urgent attention it deserves. Despite being renowned for her dedication to health and fitness, Davina McCall has revealed how she struggled for years with high cholesterol, having first discovered her cholesterol levels were at high level when she was just 28.

Davina explains her experience: “When I first received the results from my blood test that said I had high cholesterol, I just looked at my GP and asked if it was mistake! At the time I considered myself to be a healthy 28 year-old and it never even crossed my mind that I would be at risk of something like this, especially as I always associated high cholesterol with something you only get when you’re old – definitely not something you develop in your 20s!”

Reflecting on her lifestyle and dietary habits at the time, Davina admitted that cheese and processed meats were a regular feature of her weekly diet, along with beef and full fat milk, while exercise was far less of a focus for her then than it is now. She also discovered family links to high cholesterol, learning for the first time that her father and grandmother both had high cholesterol.

Uncovering cholesterol in the body

Working with Consultant Cardiologist Dr Lance Forbat and a leading SFX make-up artist, the campaign brings to life what high cholesterol would look like if it was visible to the naked eye.

Waxy, fatty deposits have been created to look just like the plaque build-up that would be evident in the arteries of people with high cholesterol. The arteries and the depiction of high cholesterol have both been increased in size for illustration purposes. While cholesterol can accumulate in arteries throughout the body and not specifically in the arm, these images aim to bring to life what can happen under the surface for those with high cholesterol. If left unmanaged, high cholesterol is associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Busting the cholesterol myths

Alongside Davina McCall, the campaign features four other people who have struggled with high cholesterol, despite not fitting the public stereotype of ‘someone with high cholesterol’. From a yoga fanatic to a 24-year-old footballer, the campaign reveals how high cholesterol really can affect anyone.

Cardiologist Dr Lance Forbat*, the acting consultant in the Cholesterol Uncovered campaign, states: “Cholesterol is carried in the blood in various forms and appears in the blood vessels as a wax-like substance. The body needs cholesterol, but high levels of it can increase your risk of heart disease. When someone has high cholesterol, they develop fatty deposits in their blood vessels. Over time, if left unaddressed, these deposits can grow in size and make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries – like these images show. The cholesterol can become exposed to the blood stream, ultimately blocking the vessel and resulting in a heart attack or stroke. When this build-up happens in the coronary arteries, this is ‘Coronary Heart Disease’ – one of the biggest causes of death in the UK.”

High cholesterol does not usually cause any visible signs or symptoms until you have an event such as angina, claudication (leg cramps walking), heart attack, or stroke. You can only find out with certainty if you have high cholesterol by taking a blood test.

If you’re worried about your cholesterol level, you can get a test from your local GP or Pharmacy.

*Dr Lance Forbat is a leading consultant cardiologist in London and Glasgow who specialises in monitoring and treating high cholesterol, hypertension, a family history of heart disease, chest pain, breathlessness and fainting.

Be mindful of daily choices: they all affect your cholesterol levels!

Sarah Franciosi, Science Communication and Nutrition Manager, Raisio Nutrition Sarah Franciosi, Science Communication and Nutrition Manager at Raisio Nutrition comments: “Although high cholesterol can be hereditary, it’s often the result of lifestyle choices, which mean that it is something we can – and should – do something about.”

“Taking some simple preventative steps – such as swapping butter for plant-based spreads and including more oily fish in your diet instead of meat – can minimise the risk of high cholesterol. So although we hope that this campaign encourages the public to take action when it comes to their cholesterol, we also want to reassure them that it’s not necessarily about making a huge lifestyle change but small, achievable switches that can make a big difference.”

Davina adds: “Making those small changes really is such an important and relatively easy way to make a big difference in reducing your cholesterol levels. From gaining a better understanding of the fat content of certain meats and viewing them more as a treat than a staple, to switching to semi-skimmed milk or lower fat spreads and oils – all these things contribute to lowering cholesterol and improving your overall health.”

Below you can find Sarah´s top tips for healthy choices in the everyday life