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Food tips hotline is shunned.

FEWER than a dozen people a day are calling an Executive hot line giving healthy eating tips, it was revealed yesterday.

New figures showed that in the first 25 days of January only 279 people bothered to dial the Healthy Eating line.

The pounds 3 million hot line was launched in a blaze of publicity a year ago, with celebrity chef Nick Nairn fronting the campaign.

In its first month, more than 11,000 people called for healthy eating tips. But since then, the number of callers has slumped.

It reached an all-time low of 245 calls last May.

Tory finance spokesman Brian Monteith yesterday called for the hone line to be scrapped.

He said: ''The number of calls is dropping like a stone.

''These are the sort of figures we saw last summer, when each call to the hot line was costing up to pounds 120.''

Health Minister Tom McCabe last night said the advice line was run by a private body in its first year but was now part of the NHS 24-hour help line.

He said costs would ''drop significantly''.

McCabe added: ''The hot line was only a small part of the healthy living campaign.

''It would be ridiculous to run a campaign without offering practical help.''

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 3, 2004
Words:215
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