Why We Need To Bite Back At The Food Industry
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We’re surrounded by advertising all the time. But how much of it do we actually absorb, and what effect does it really have on us? That’s what Bite Back 2030 set out to find, with a new campaign that launched in October. Check out what they did below:
The campaign voices the concerns of young people and demands change when it comes to the food industry. It’s all about putting health at the heart of everything.
Bite Back’s mission looks at the health crisis sweeping the country. Currently, there are 3.3 million children overweight, and Bite Back aim to halve this by 2030. They want to redesign the food industry as we know it. This means creating an industry that puts health next to profit, and doesn’t dismiss it. To do this, they rely on creating a space where young people have access to healthier options despite where they live or other social inequalities.
Because the campaign focuses on young people, Bite Back have put together a Youth Board made up of passionate young people who want to put these issues in the spotlight. The Youth Board, alongside Jamie Oliver, are there to decide which direction the campaign should go in.
“For us, the Youth Board is key to the future of the campaign. We feel that for too long adults have been talking about the health of young people without getting our opinion or direction.” says Youth Board member and NCS grad, Dave.
Tasha, another Youth Board member and NCS grad agrees, saying that Bite Back is so important because, “advertising is strategic and manipulative, to the point where it takes away the power for us to choose what we want and make choices for ourselves. In food advertising, this means we’re bombarded with unhealthy food ads."
"So when it comes to deciding what we eat, our choices are actually already made for us, on a subconscious level. You can see that clearly in our campaign video!”
And it’s great to hear that both Tasha and Dave have said NCS helped them get to where they are today. In fact, Dave says, “I firmly believe that NCS has empowered me to use my voice to drive change and speak about issues I feel passionate about. The programme definitely helped me find my buzz for social action and I am sure it’ll stay with me for life.”
And it’s because of Dave, Tasha, and the others on the Youth Board, that Bite Back can drive their goals forward. But what does an ideal world, according to Bite Back actually look like?
Well, it’s all about options. Right now, in the UK, children living in disadvantaged areas are twice as likely to be overweight than those in wealthier areas. We need to make sure all dietary requirements are catered for in shops, restaurants, school canteens and take-aways.
It’s about making healthier snacks more appealing in supermarkets through price promotions. And it’s having initiatives that create opportunities for young people to be healthy, wherever they live.
It’s like Dave says, “Being aware of the power of unhealthy food company’s advertising is really important, but standing up and biting back against the issue is just as important.”
So what can you do? Tasha’s number one bit of advice is to, “Be vocal! Share problems you see within the food industry on social media, or whatever way you can think of. Highlight the need to take junk food out of the spotlight and shine a light on healthy stuff.”