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PHILIPPINES: OMG! Eat-your-vegetables campaign

BANGKOK, 23 March 2012 (IRIN) – Celebrities are working with the Philippines government in a recently launched nationwide media campaign to lift the consumption of fresh produce and fight malnutrition among young people.

The name of the project, ‘Oh My Gulay!’ (OMG!) (‘oh my vegetables’ in the local Tagalog language) plays off the shorthand exclamation commonly interspersed in text messages sent via mobile phones – ‘OMG’ for ‘oh my god’ – and resonates widely in a country where more than one billion text messages are sent daily.

Local celebrities in dance, music and television are featured in print and on television, posing with their favourite vegetables.

“Role models are efficient for children, and targeting children is both boosting immediate consumption and initiating a mindset change about vegetables and fruits,” explained the founder of the campaign, Ed Angara, a parliamentarian from the capital region of Metro Manila.

“We want to make vegetables and fruits sexy – too many Filipinos prefer to buy meat rather than vegetables and fruits to complement their rice-based diet,” said Robert Holmer, regional director for East and Southeast Asia of the World Vegetable Centre (AVRDC), a Taiwan-headquartered NGO previously known as the Asian Vegetable Research Development Centre, which is supporting the campaign.

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