Dan Parker

Wednesday 05th December 2018 04:35 EST

Dan spent 20 years working in the advertising and marketing of food. His clients included Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Walkers, Cadburys, Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury’s.  In 2014, Dan was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. As he learned to manage his disease, he also learned of the crisis in obesity and the essential role food choice has in both health and happiness.  In 2016, Dan closed his agency and launched Living Loud.

Living Loud is a global charitable alliance of medical professionals, digital technologists and the creative industries setting out to transform lifestyle healthcare. It campaigns for reform of junk food marketing and works to use insight, creativity and technology to inform, inspire and support people to overcome illness & live healthier, happier lives. 

Recent projects include campaigning for a second chapter to the Childhood Obesity Plan and leading the launch of Veg Power, the campaign to inspire everyone to eat more vegetables.

1 Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?

For me home is simply being with my wife and son. We feel most at relaxed in our home town of Brighton. We love the sea, the quirky culture, the vibrancy and the tolerant and liberal values.

2 What are your proudest achievements?

Four years ago I realised that my life's work was damaging society, so its hard to look back with much pride. I am proud that I questioned myself, that I changed direction and set about rectifying my wrong. I'll be very proud when Veg Power hits screens in January 2019.

3 What inspires you?

Ordinary people who step up and do extraordinary things for people they don't even know. I salute real heroes like Carmel McConnel at The Magic Breakfast, Emma Williams of Matthews Friends, Anna Taylor at The Food Foundation, and every person who gives their time to help others.

4 What has been the biggest obstacle in your career?

The entrenched and self-serving resistance to change within the higher levels of business, society and government. People at the top tend to favour the status quo.  

5 Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?

Hugh Sims-Hilditch. Hugh was the first person to believe in me, I think that is the greatest gift that any Manager can give a young person at the start of their working life. I will forever be in his debt.

6 What is the best aspect about your current role?

For many years, I used my skill and toil to get people to eat more junk food. Now I try to help people to lead healthier and happier lives and to call to account those who put profits and power before people.  My spirit feels lifted and full of joy.

7 And the worst?

The lack of financial resource available to those fighting to improve lives in contrasts to the vast resource available to those commercial interests seeking to protect their profits.

8 What are your long term goals?

I endeavour to bring together the best medical and scientific minds with those working in creativity, communications and technology. Together I believe we can empower and inspire people everywhere to lead healthier and happier lives. I don't plan to stop until we are an international network helping millions.

9 If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?

I would pass a social contract into legislation which mandates that the first responsibility of government is to ensure that everyone regardless of their circumstances has the means to put healthy food on their table, a safe place to call home, and a decent standard of free education and healthcare.

10 If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why.

Noah, as he's good at building boats.

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