Wrong, says a new campaign backed by chefs, including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, food experts and parents across the country.
VEG POWER is a new initiative that aims to make vegetables as exciting to children as any sugary food that is backed by massive advertising budgets.
I know from my membership of the Health and Social care Select Committee that childhood obesity is a crisis across the country. Our new report, Childhood Obesity: Time for Action, shows that children are bombarded by advertising and marketing for foodstuffs that are high in sugar, fat and salt and feed the obesity crisis.
One of our key recommendations is to rebalance marketing in favour of healthy foods. It is crucial that the government use its childhood obesity plan to impose a 9pm watershed on high fat, sugar and salt food and drink advertising. It also needs to be smarter in recognising how the food industry uses cartoon characters and non-advertising marketing to promote unhealthy foods to our children.
We all need to be smarter in transforming children’s attitudes to the healthy foodstuffs, such as vegetables. Vegetables currently make up just 1.2 per cent of food and drink advertising spend in the UK. VEG POWER aims to change that by using the skills of marketing to make vegetables exciting to children.
Wouldn’t it be great to be pestered at the supermarket checkout for tasty carrots or peas please, rather than a bar of chocolate?