Jamie Oliver: 'Politicians' failure to tackle childhood obesity is shameful'

Richard Vaughan

Not a single political party is attempting to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic, TV chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver has said, branding it a “shameful state of affairs”.

Writing in today’s edition of TES, Mr Oliver, who has campaigned for better school food and healthier eating habits, has criticised political parties of every hue for not making childhood obesity a priority in an election year.

The celebrity cook said the lack of focus on the issue was putting the hard work that had already been done in danger.

Mr Oliver writes: “With the general election coming up next year, I find it shocking that no party is showing leadership in trying to reduce childhood obesity and improve public health. It’s a shameful state of affairs and we’re all suffering as a result.

“The health service is buckling under the strain of diet-related disease and children as young as 8 are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Most of this is preventable.”

And he adds: “The reality is that diet-related diseases are shortening our lives and costing us a fortune.”

Mr Oliver led a highly successful campaign back in 2004 to try and change the quality of school dinners in the UK, which eventually led to a meeting with the then prime minister Tony Blair and a £280m investment in school kitchens and training over three years.

Read the full comment piece in the 29 August edition of TES on your tablet or phone by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up in all good newsagents.

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Richard Vaughan

Richard has been writing about politics, policy and technology in education for nearly five years after joining TES in 2008. He joined TES from the building press having been a reporter and then later news editor at the Architects’ Journal. Before then he studied at Cardiff University’s school of journalism. Richard can be found tweeting at @richardvaughan1

Find me on Twitter @RichardVaughan1

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