The transformational children’s healthy eating campaign “Eat Them to Defeat Them” is making a triumphant return to TV screens this coming Saturday.
Dubbed “The Big Chomp”, the mission from Veg Power, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky Media this year will be much the same as their previous five iterations – get kids to eat more of those pesky vegetables.
Although 80 per cent of children across the UK are not eating enough veg – with about a third consuming less than one portion – numbers have been far better since the campaign launched. More than half of parents whose children take part in school-related programmes are eating more veg and more different types of veg.
Perhaps the most important statistic is this: nearly two-thirds of children in those programmes who didn’t like vegetables before are giving them a shot … and are happy to defeat them.
“Our evaluation has shown that this campaign is having a much-needed positive impact on children’s diets, and we can’t wait for more children and their families to benefit,” Dan Parker, Chief Executive, Veg Power said. “We know that changing behaviour and dietary health in the UK isn’t going to happen overnight, but we are delighted with the inroads our campaign and others working in this space have achieved. As always a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us this year.”
One of the neat offshoots of the widespread advertising campaigns and the promotions in schools are the involvement from scores of retailers, businesses, politicians and celebrities. Parents may be the biggest influencers, though, with about a third of whom saying they are also eating more veg.
“It is clear that TV advertising has an equally vital role to play in advancing health issues and inspiring positive choices,” Verica Djurdjevic, Chief Revenue Officer, Channel 4, said. “We’re delighted that around one third of parents who watched last year’s Eat Them To Defeat Them TV ad report eating more vegetables as a result. We look forward to building on this success in the sixth year of this partnership.”
Since it began just before the pandemic, more than 1.5 million children from 4,884 schools have taken part in their school’s programmes.
This year should be as fun as the others. It will launch during the final of The Masked Singer on ITV. ‘The Big Chomp’ theme will encourage kids “to defeat the veg one bite at a time. All this extra chewing will have the added bonus of protecting children’s teeth from the bacteria that cause tooth decay, the leading cause of hospital admissions in under 10s and another UK public health issue,” officials said.