A new fund has been launched to market fruit and vegetables to children, with 80 per cent of children in the UK not eating enough vegetables. Lack of vegetable intake contributes to 20,000 deaths each year in the UK. Notable people within the advertising industry are supporting the creation of the fund, including Sir John Hegarty.
Obesity is a national epidemic in the UK with one in three children leaving primary school overweight or obese, which puts them at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and other conditions. Vegpower is being supported by celebrity chefs, medical experts, teachers and food producers. The fund is designed to help parents by offering alternative items, as opposed to the junk food that kids are exposed to through advertising.
Speaking about the campaign, Jamie Oliver said: “I’m a parent and like everyone else, I want my kids to have a proper balanced diet, packed full of lovely veg! But we all know that encouraging kids to eat more greens can be a challenge, so we need to get them really excited about veg by celebrating all the beautiful, colourful, fun things you can do with them.”
Celebrity chef and campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, said: “80% of our children are not eating enough veg and it’s impacting their health. There’s endless junk food advertising but why aren’t we marketing the good stuff to our kids? Let’s do something really amazing. Let’s power up the next generation with vegetables!”
Dan Parker, a former advertising executive who is also type 2 diabetic said: “Advertising works, which is why companies spend so much money to promote their products. People buy happiness not health, so this is no longer about the health message & cartoon vegetables with smiley faces. It’s about making veg cool and contemporary in a way that means kids don’t need to be bribed with dessert to finish their greens”.
A budget of £100,000 is being raised through a crowdfunding campaign to get the message out to the public and deflect away from junk food adverts. You can find out more about the crowdfunding campaign here.