Ofsted should inspect schools meals - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Jamie Oliver tells MPs that childhood obesity is a catastrophe

Tes Reporter

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, ofsted, meals, food, nutrition, select committee

Ofsted should inspect school meals, a celebrity chef has told MPs.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was giving evidence to the Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee this afternoon, alongside Jamie Oliver.

They were questioned as part of the panel's inquiry into childhood obesity.

Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall raised his concern about declining vegetable sales, saying: "That's a very serious worry. We have to look at how we get kids eating more veg.

"Ofsted needs to be assessing both the quality of school meals and the quality of food education."

Jamie Oliver has described the childhood obesity crisis as a "catastrophe" and said it was time "every single minister" had a role in tacking the problem.

He told MPs: "Now is the time to start looking at a multi-pronged environmental approach where every single minister in every single department has a part to play.

"I think to say it's a catastrophe or an emergency is fair and true. I think if you speak to anyone in the NHS – doctors, paediatricians, dentists – this is a massive problem.

"If you spoke to Mark Carney at the Bank of England, is British kids and adults being unhealthy and less productive good for the economy or bad, it's bad."

Speaking after giving evidence, Mr Oliver said Theresa May's description of the UK's plans to tackle childhood obesity as "ambitious" and "world-leading" was "categorically incorrect".

Oliver cited the example of Amsterdam, which he said had "a multi-faceted strategy" looking at junk food advertising and education around healthy eating that allowed them to lower childhood obesity by 12 per cent in three years.

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