• The UK ranks 21 out of 28 in the EU for fresh vegetable consumption. (Euromonitor data)

• 96% of teenagers and 80% of primary school age children don’t eat enough vegetables (Veg Facts – The Food Foundation)

• 44% of children will remove at least some, if not all of the salad from a burger (YouGov)

• Nearly half of parents (49.2%) wait at least 5 minutes or more at family mealtime for their children to finish their vegetables, that equates to 30 hours a year. (You Gov)

Pretty damning statistics, we're sure you'll agree. But maybe today is the start of an almighty fightback.

Eat Them To Defeat Them is a radical new national advertising campaign, launching today, Friday 25th January on ITV that aims to inspire kids to eat more healthily and help tackle rising childhood obesity.  

Despite past campaigns 80% of primary school kids still aren’t eating enough vegetables and this ground breaking initiative looks to change that.   The campaign is being launched by a partnership between ITV and Veg Power and Eat Them To Defeat Them will engage with kids and parents in a new way, looking to reinvigorate how vegetables are viewed and consumed.

Prominent UK advertising agency adam&eveDDB have created the ambitious 60’ advert that will premiere on prime-time ITV during Coronation Street tonight (Friday 25th January) and across ITV’s biggest programmes including The Voice, Dancing on Ice and Britain’s Got Talent. It is brave and bold and will push boundaries and engage with kids like no other healthy eating initiative has done before.

The campaign will be supported across ITV by talent and programming, it also has the support of writer and broadcaster Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver.

The advert and supporting creative including posters, stickers and wall charts, will editorially position kids as the heroes as they help their parents save the world from being overrun by angry vegetables. They have to Eat Them To Defeat Them.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Food Writer and Broadcaster said: “Getting our kids to eat more vegetables is simply vital - and it’s never been more so. This campaign is brave, fun and engaging. It will inspire kids to enjoy the huge range of tastes, textures and colours that the brilliant world of veg has to offer.  A diet that’s big on vegetables will be a massive win for our long-term health. I'm hoping to see carrots and broccoli flying off the shelves!”

Carolyn McCall, CEO, ITV said: “This campaign will reach millions of parents and children through our biggest and most popular shows and it is unlike anything that has gone before. We’re proud to use the power of TV to take a new, bold and brave approach to encouraging kids to eat more vegetables.”

Baroness Rosie Boycott, Chair of Veg Power and trustee of The Food Foundation, said: “We are delighted that Veg Power has joined with ITV to launch our very first campaign Eat Them To Defeat Them.  With the aim of using ‘advertising for good’ and engaging and entertaining kids rather than using the well-worn health message, we can really shift the dial and hope to see long lasting behaviour change. Having all the major retailers will help us achieve huge reach and impact.  

“It is vital that we achieve change in both supply and demand if we are to see real transformation of our food system and our work with both Peas Please and Veg Power are tackling both straight on.”  

Veg Power is born out of the work of The Food Foundation and Peas Please. It aims to harness the great creative minds of the advertising and marketing world and turn their skills to making engaging and powerful content aimed at changing our perception of vegetables in order to encourage our kids to eat more. The Veg Power fund aims to use positive messages of vitality, vibrancy and wonderful taste to give vegetables a modern appeal.

The campaign will be evaluated with expert input from Kantar Worldpanel, University of Cambridge & University of Oxford  and support from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. 

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