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Chinese Stars Promote Diets that Improve Health and Flight Climate Change

Chinese superstars Angelababy, Huang Lei and Huang Xuan encourage the public to eat better to improve their personal health and the health of our planet

Today at a high-profile event in Beijing, Chinese icon Huang Xuan helped launch an effort to improve public health and fight climate change with WildAid's Shu Shi campaign. The campaign includes video public service announcements (PSAs), billboards, social media, and partnerships that encourage the public to eat more fruits and vegetables, and to consume less meat with the slogan: "Be fresh. Eat less meat - it's the new picky." The announcement came as a part of the Summer Vibes event series at the popular Taikoo Li shopping center in Sanlitun, Beijing. Superstar Angelababy and actor Huang Lei are also featured in the media campaign.

Shu Shi: The New Picky Way from WildAid on Vimeo.

The Shu Shi campaign messages are expected to reach hundreds of millions of people across China on national and local TV stations and China's leading online video sites. The campaign also includes billboard distribution to airports, subway stations, bus stops and high-traffic pedestrian areas in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing and Wuhan among other cities. With low levels of public awareness on the climate impact of diet, the campaign aims to empower Chinese consumers to make dietary choices that can help curb climate change and improve personal health.

"This is really just a simple change that I've made and am encouraging others to make, to choose a more healthy and environmentally responsible lifestyle. I feel healthier, and I know I'm helping the planet as well," said Huang Xuan.

Shu Shi, which means vegetable in Chinese and has connotation of comfort and wellbeing, promotes adopting a healthier diet as a fashionable and playful way to help fight climate change. Animal agriculture accounts for an estimated 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Due to its population size and rapid economic growth, dietary improvements are essential to any efforts to curb GHG emissions: the nation consumes 28% of all the world's meat, approximately half of the world's pork, and is projected to add the equivalent of the total United States consumption to global demand for meat between 2010 and 2030. By 2050, global consumption of meat and dairy products are expected to rise 76% and 65% respectively, but even the current level of meat consumption is not considered sustainable by Chatham House and other leading authorities.

Shu Shi is a part of WildAid's ongoing effort to support the Recommended Dietary Guidelines of the Chinese Nutrition Society, which suggest limiting annual meat consumption to a maximum of 27.4 kg per person, compared to current average of 63 kg in China.

A WildAid survey shows that the Chinese public may be receptive to some dietary shifts. Eighty-eight percent of respondents were aware that meat consumption was unhealthy, while 40% were aware of the associated GHG emissions. Overall, 83 percent of respondents were willing to eat vegetarian at least one day each week for their health and the planet, with 62 percent willing to eat vegetarian two or more days each week.

The launch event at Taikoo Li featured vegetarian meals provided by three restaurants in the shopping district, which will be promoted to the public from July 28 – August 20. Taikoo Li is Beijing's premier shopping district with nearly 100,000 daily visitors. Shu Shi messages will be further promoted by a partnership with Tianjin Airlines to provide vegetarian options on all international flights beginning later this year.

"This lively campaign is encouraging one of the easiest things we can all do improve our health and help the planet," said WildAid Chief China Representative Steve Blake. "It's a simple lifestyle change that can really have a huge, positive impact."

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