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Sunderland MP joins Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver in calls for vegetable advertising fund

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A Sunderland MP has joined celebrity chefs in calling for a special fund to advertise vegetables to improve our health.

Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson, who serves as Labour's Shadow Minister for Public Health, has joined Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver in campaigning for pot of cash to "relaunch the image of vegetables" and encourage healthy eating.

The #VegPower campaign is asking for the Government, growers and retailers to contribute to a pooled marketing fund to and to support a healthier food environment.

It comes after figures revealed 95% of teenagers and 80% of adults don’t eat enough vegetables, and that consumption is in decline.

Ms Hodgson said most vegetables are currently unbranded and don’t have big marketing budgets, but vegetable advertising would increase consumption and a healthier lifestyle.

“We know that advertising for junk food drives up demand and consumption, so I am pleased that #VegPower is now looking to do the same for vegetables not only to encourage healthy eating and to drive up demand, but also to support our farmers," she said.

“We are constantly bombarded with junk food advertising so I fully support this campaign which will positively promote vegetables.

“Eating a balanced diet, which includes vegetables, is key to a fit and healthy lifestyle, so it is important that healthy eating is encouraged across all ages.”