Young people demand healthier food environments in East Asia and the Pacific

Young people co-create and launch a campaign to support UNICEF’s ‘Fix My Food’ initiative for healthier food environments for children in the region

27 February 2023
Young people demand healthier food environments in East Asia and the Pacific
UNICEF Timor-Leste/2023/Bbenevides

Bangkok, 27 February 2023 – The food systems in East Asia and the Pacific, known for its diverse and vibrant food culture is changing rapidly. Traditional healthy fresh food diets are being replaced by an increasing consumption of highly processed ‘junk’ food and drink full of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. 

Children across the region, are growing up in food environments that promote the sale and consumption of these ‘junk’ foods and drinks, rather than healthier alternatives. As a result, more than one in three adolescents are drinking at least one sugary drink a day; more than half consume a fast-food once or more a week; and less than half, are eating enough fruit and vegetables every day. 

“Today, children and young people are surrounded by junk-food marketing wherever they go: online, on their way to school, college or university, on television, and even while standing in the checkout-line of the grocery store. The result is that too many children in East Asia and the Pacific have poor, unhealthy diets that are having a devastating impact on their health and well-being. It is about time that we change this.” shared Ms. Debora Comini, Regional Director, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific.

UNICEF has been working closely with governments and partners to introduce policies and legislation to curb the increase in marketing of unhealthy food and drink, such as bans on advertising and sale of unhealthy foods in and around schools, clear front-of-pack nutrition labelling, and taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages amongst others.

To further promote the need for healthier food environments, UNICEF is supporting the “Fix My Food” campaign led by young people to raise awareness of the need to create healthier food environments in China, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Mongolia, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. 

Young people, together with celebrities and influencers from these eight countries were part of a two-day co-creation “Fix My Food” workshop in Bangkok - brainstorming ideas and identifying potential partners to help roll out the campaign in their respective countries. 

Chef Nak, Ms. Ros Rotanak, Cambodia’s first female celebrity chef, and Miss Vietnam 2019, Ms. Luong Thuy Linh were also part of the co-creation workshop and launch event. 

Sharing her thoughts, Chef Nak said “I strongly believe in preserving, developing and promoting traditional Khmer cuisine as one of the world's most remarkable culinary traditions. Food is much more than just what we eat. It is an essential part of our culture, our families and our communities. I am happy to support these young champions, to preserve, protect and ensure that our food environment is equally accessible to and benefits all.”

“I strongly believe in healthy eating and healthy lifestyles and have joined this campaign with the hope that together we will be able to change our failing food system. We need to ensure that people, especially children and young people, have the opportunity and the right to make healthy food choices, wherever they are, at home, in and around schools, and in their communities,” stated Ms. Linh, Miss World Vietnam 2019. 

With the young people leading the “Fix My Food” campaign and support from celebrities and influencers, UNICEF hopes to create awareness on the impact of the changing food environment in the lives of girls and boys and the urgent need for governments, the private sector and civil society to take collective action to build a healthier food environment across the region.

Speaking at the event, 24-year-old Mr. Ricardo Valente, from Timor-Leste said “This campaign is unique, it is designed and led by us and will be implemented by each of us, back in our own countries. We are excited about being part of this movement to make the food environment healthier and more accessible for every child and every young person in East Asia and the Pacific.”

As part of UNICEF’s work to mobilize and empower young people to take action, this initiative will be implemented in the eight participating countries and will be supported by UNICEF country offices and partners. 

For more details and latest updates on the ‘Fix My Food’ initiative, please visit: Fix My Food UNICEF East Asia and Pacific

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Foinsa’e sira ezije ambiente alimentasaun ne’ebé saudável iha Rejiaun Ázia Leste no Pasífika

Bangkok, 27 Fevereiru 2023 – Sistema ai-han iha rejiaun Ázia Leste no Pasífiku, ne’ebé koñesidu ho ninia kultura alimentasaun ne’ebé diversu no dinámiku, iha mudansa ne’ebé lalais. Dieta alimentasaun ne’ebé tradisionalmente saudável no fresku agora troka ona ho nível konsume ne’ebé aumenta bebeik ba ai-haan no hemu “junk” sira ne’ebé mesak nakonu ho masin-midar, masin, no bokur ne’ebé la saudável.  

Labarik sira iha rejiaun ne’e nia laran, agora moris iha ambiente alimentasaun sira ne’ebé mak promove de’it komersializasaun no konsume ai-haan no hemu sira ne’ebé “junk” (signifika la saudável no laiha nutrisaun di’ak), envesde konsume ai-han alternativu ne’ebé mak saudável. Nu’udar rezultadu, iha foinsa’e pursentu 33 liu mak konsume pelumenus bebidas midar nian ida kada loron; liu metade mak konsume fast-food (ai-haan lalais) dala ida ka liu kada semana; no menus husi metade foinsa’e sira mak han ai-fuan no modo-tahan natoon kada loron. 

“Ohin loron, labarik no foinsa’e sira moris iha ambiente ida-ne’ebé iha fatin hotu-hotu mesak nakonu ho promosaun (iklan) kona-ba hahán ‘junk’ nian: hanesan iha dalan ba eskola, ba koléjiu ka Universiade, iha televizaun, no inklui mós bainhira sira hamriik hela iha fileira kaixeiru iha supermerkadu nian. Nia rezultadu mak labarik barak iha rejiaun Ázia Leste no Pasífiku moris ho saúde ne’ebé mukit, dieta la saudável ne’ebé fo impaktu la-di’ak tebes ba sira-nia saúde no mós moris-di’ak (bem-star). Tempu to’o ona ba ita atu muda ida-ne’e”, tenik Sra. Debora Comini, Diretora Rejional, UNICEF iha Rejiaun Ázia Leste no Pasífiku. 

UNICEF serbisu hamutuk ona ho governu no parseiru sira atu introdus polítika no lejislasaun sira atu bele hatuun kresimentu iha komersializasaun ba ai-han no bebidas sira ne’ebé la saudável, hanesan implementa moratóriu (bandu) ba promosaun (iklan) sira ne’ebé mak promove negosiu ba ai-han la saudável iha área eskola sira; utiliza label ba konteudu nutrisaun nian, no mós aplika taxa (pajak) ba bebidas sira ne’ebé uza masin-midar barak.

Atu promove liután nesesidade ba ambiente alimentasaun ne’ebé mak saudável, UNICEF agora suporta hela inisiativa “Fix My Food” (hadia ha’u-nia hahán) ne’ebé mak lidera husi foinsa’e sira atu bele hasa’e tan koñesimentu ba nesesidade atu kria ambiente alimentasaun saudável iha Xina, Kambódia, Federasaun Estadu Mikronézia, Fiji, Mongolia, Illa Solomon, Timor-Leste no mós Vietnam. 

Foinsa’e sira, hamutuk ho personalidade sira (artis) no influensiadór sira husi nasaun ualu (8), hola parte ona iha workshop co-creation “Fix My Food” loron-rua—fahe idea no identifika ona parseiru potensial sira ne’ebé bele ajuda implementa kampaña ne’e iha nasaun ida-idak. 

Chef Na, Sra. Ros Rotanak, Kambódia nia selebriti chef feto dahuluk nian, no Miss Vietname 2019 nian Sra. Luong Thuy Linh mós hola parte iha workshop ba kriasaun koletiva (co-creation) no eventu lansamentu. Chef Nak fahe ninia hanoin “Hau fiar metin iha prezervasaun no dezenvolvementu no promosaun ba ai-haan tradisionál Khmer (ema Kambodia) nian hanesan tradisaun kulináriu mundu nian ne’ebé inkrivel. Alimentasaun ne’e la’ós de’it saida mak ita han. Alimentasaun hanesan parte esensiál ida husi ita-nia kultura, ita-nia família no mós ita-nia komunidade sira. Hau senti haksolok tebes bele suporta kampiaun foinsa’e sira ne’e, hodi prezerva proteje no asegura katak ita nia ambiente ba alimentasaun ne’e bele benfisia no mós bele asesu ba ema hotu.”

“Hau fiar metin iha alimentasaun saudável no estilu moris ne’ebé saudável mós, no hamutuk ho kampaña ida-ne’e ho esperasan katak ita hamutuk ita sei bele muda ita nia Sistema alimentasaun ne’eb’e mak falla hela. Ita presiza atu asegura katak ema sira, liu-liu labarik ki’ik sira, iha oportunidade no direitu atu bele halo desizaun ba ai-haan saudável sira, iha ne’ebé de’it, iha uma, iha eskola sira no iha sira-nia komunidade,” Sra. Link, Miss World Vietnam 2019 haktuir. 

Ho lideransa foinsa’e sira nian iha kampaña “Fix My Food” ho suporta husi selebriti no mós influensiadór sira, UNICEF iha esperansa atu bele kria koñesimentu kona-ba impaktu husi mudansa ambiente ba alimentasaun nian ba labarik sira-nia moris, no nesesidade urjente ba governu sira, setór privada no mós sosiedade sivil sira atu foti asaun koletivu hodi harii ambiente alimentasaun saudável iha rejiaun ne’e nia laran. 

Ko’alia iha eventu ne’e, foinsa’e ho idade tinan 24 nian, Sr. Ricardo Valente, husi Timor-Leste dehan “Kampaña ne’e úniku, tanba ne’e dezeña no lidera husi ami no sei implementa mós husi ami ida-idak, iha ami nia nasaun. Ami senti kontente tebes bele hola parte iha movimentu ida ne’e, hodi kria ambiente alimentasau ne’ebé saudável no bele asesu mós ba labarik sira no foinsa’e sira ida-idak iha rejiaun Ázia Leste no Pasífiku nia laran.”

Hanesan parte ida husi UNICEF nia serbisu atu mobiliza no empodera foinsa’e sira atu foti asaun, inisiativa ne’e sei implementa iha nasaun partisipante hamutuk nain ualu (8) no sei suporta husi sekretaria UNICEF sira iha nasaun ida-idak no parseiru sira mós. 

Informasaun detallu liután no ikus nian husi movimentu “Fix my Food”, ita-boot sira bele vizita Fix My Food UNICEF East Asia and Pacific


Notes to editors: 

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF East Asia & Pacific and its work for children, visit 

Follow UNICEF East Asia & Pacific on Twitter , Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
For more information please contact: 
Moumita Dastidar, Communication Consultant, UNICEF East Asia, and Pacific, Tel: +66 (0) 973103779 Email:

Shima Islam, Acting Regional Chief of Communication, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific, Tel: +66 (0)23569407 Email: 


Media contacts

Tapuwa Loreen Mutseyekwa
Advocacy and Communication Specialist
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +67077231103
Tel: +670 331 1297, Extension: 1820
Antonio Gomes
Communication Officer (Tetum)
UNICEF Timor-Leste
Tel: +670 7723 2441
Tel: +670 331 1300, Extension: 1821


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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