April 16th, 2010
05:49 PM ET

3 questions with Jamie Oliver

If you still think of Jamie Oliver as The Naked Chef, you have some catching up to do.

That show gave Oliver his start, but he has since become a crusader for healthy food for schoolchildren. Starting in a school cafeteria in the Greenwich section of London, Jamie’s campaign to change the way British schoolchildren eat took him all the way to the halls of Parliament, resulting in the British government committing 650 million pounds to improving the school food program.

Now, Oliver has turned his attention to the United States – and in particular, the town of Huntington, West Virginia, deemed the most unhealthy community in the country.

A series of six shows detailing his work in Huntington titled “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” is airing now on ABC. Sitting down with Oliver, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta had a chance ask him about his goals:

Gupta: The average person comes into a grocery store here in the states to buy food. Are we doing something wrong?

Oliver: I think one of the problems that we've got is, generally speaking soft drinks, in my experience are being consumed instead of any form of water. Snacking is just an unpoliceable meal – it's just whenever they want, and rarely has that much food nutrition. Really, it normally is largely based on sugar. And the meals, when you get around to them, will either be a [take-out], delivery, or processed boxed foods. There's nothing wrong with nugget per se, there's nothing wrong with a burger per se, it's normally when you get the cheaper versions, they've got all the other bits in them as well. I mean, something like a burger can be four ingredients but why is there 40?

Gupta: The thing I keep coming back to is that nobody wants to do wrong by their kids I don't think, so where is the problem here? Is there someone who wears a black hat in this whole thing?

Oliver: No I think the black hat to be worn is in education. We haven't done enough in England or America about food education for 30 or 40 years. If you understand the basics of food from an early age – if you have an open-mindedness about food because you've been exposed to a lot from an early age, then it allows you to make different decisions as you grow older and have your own kids. The families I've worked with that have massive problems – they don't not love their kids – they love their kids – they know they're all obese including themselves and they know all the problems – they've seen all the statistics, but they haven't got the tools to sort of shop or cook their way out of it really.

Gupta: People say they don't have time, people say they don't have money to eat well.

Oliver: Shopping is where you're going to spend the second-largest amount of money in your own life – other than your own house and your kids- but shopping is a massive bill in your annual spend. The families I worked with [spend] $150 a week. That's eight grand a year, and that's proper money. That is buying versions of all of these things- buying cucumbers, we're buying lettuce, leeks, potatoes. There are little tricks you can do in supermarkets: The minute they bag it up and grate it, they're gonna charge you for it. The minute you take erratic sizes, it'll be much cheaper. Whatever's in season and local will be cheaper and of course when they're doing deals and bargains – buy one, get this free – you might not want free. What's the point in buying them if you don't want free in the first place?

To see more of Dr. Gupta’s conversation with Jamie Oliver, tune in to “Sanjay Gupta M.D.” on CNN at 7:30 a.m. ET, Saturday-Sunday.

Filed under: Body Image • Children's Health • Weight loss

soundoff (250 Responses)
  1. Darion Hammie

    Hello there!!! I am currently working on a nutritional program that I want to present to my local school district. I would love to get any input from you on how I can be involved and make a difference. The obesity rate in our children here must be changed and I want to figure out how I can do it and who I should partner with.

    I would relish the opportunity to be a part of the food revolution!!!! Long overdue and extremely welcome. Thank you Jamie for devoting yourself, your time and your resources to this and putting this in the face of the nation!!!

    April 16, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. NYC mom

    USA needs and wants Jamie Oliver!! Thanks for your dedication and interest in a life changing topic. Learning about nutrition, real food, and cooking helps kids and families be more creative and even experimental. It can open doors that some may never even new existed! Thanks so much....

    April 16, 2010 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Gunner

    Great job Jamie. Some one has to get out there and educate. Anyone else out there how's brave enough to try to shake things up? I can't see it. There's no coincedence that we're the fattest nation in the world and one of the most uneducated when it comes to food knowledge. Jamie will hopefully make some difference or at leasta start.

    April 16, 2010 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Gloriard

    Good for Gupta and Oliver for having this conversation. Kids are now growing up with bad habits. It used to be that those bad habits developed later. No more. If we care – and we do claim to care – we have to talk about fat and food and kids and calories. And let us not forget the excitement of exercise! Our attitude must be positive to get the maximum benefit from this discussion.
    Lets hope those who need most to hear this will actually LISTEN – and do so for the sake of all children!
    Best wishes to Jamie Oliver!

    April 16, 2010 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jig101

    Obesity is an issue that crosses many types of boundaries, but we see a prevalence in the lower middle class and lower class economic sectors. I think education is important, but at this point-like smoking-everyone knows what's good for you and whats bad for you. The reality for MANY people is the LACK of affordable healthy food. Why doesn't the gorvernment do more to tax unhealthy things and subsidize healthy food? A bag of cookies which will provide snacks for 3 days for three kids is 2.75$. 2 pounds of grapes that will provide the same is $5.50. When you are struggling to make ends meet, you have to think about the money and how to save. That is the unfortunate bottom line for most people. It is just too expensive to replace processed, cheap food with healthy, whole or organic. Also, when you are looking at your children, who you want to do anything for, and you can't buy them a DSi or a Wii or a trip to disney or even a cheap MP3 at walmart, but you can get them an ice cream cone...it ain't right, well, you just want them to feel special once in a while and as wrong as it may be, sometimes a treat is the only thing you can afford to do.

    April 16, 2010 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Bernie

    I have to agree with Jamie. Children today are constantly exposed to food that are so bad for them. I remember as a child, McDonald's used to close at night. We didn't have 24 hour or late night availability as they do today. Also in my childhood, fast food was a treat we would get every once in a while. Today we have too much food available all the time outside the home. What happened to moms and dads cooking for the family? How did the fast and processed food company get a hold of our eating habits?

    I took a personal stand against fast food, processed meals, and deathly beverages. I had to train my brain to eat better. Yes it was hard to stop drinking soda, eating burgers and fatty products. But guess what, after stopping all that I feel 1000% better!! I drink more water, cook and exercise more, basically taken better care of myself. I'm sad that I had to find this out 39 years later. Better late than never.

    I think Jamie is doing an awesome job trying to change the way schools are feeding children. It is a known fact that our children will die before us because of their eating habits. Why are parents sacraficing their children's overall health just for a moment of satisfaction?

    Wake up people!! If you are not willing to change your children's eating habits now, then start preparing for their funerals!!

    I support you Jamie!!! Behind you all the way!!! Good luck!!!!

    April 16, 2010 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Vicki, Marietta, GA

    Is anyone else out there a bit insulted that a guy from Britain comes over here to FIX us? Aren't there folks in England who could use his help? Don't we have chefs, dietitians, and nutritionists in this country who could help folks in need of dietary education? This smacks of blatant commercialism at the expense of low income or uneducated Americans. Maybe the Boy Scouts or church groups could take it on as a group project. They could learn the facts first and then spread them around. Of course, providing fresh food has to be economically feasible, which in some cases, it is not.

    April 16, 2010 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tuscguy

      Jamie is the first person to step up to the plate and take it on. It doesn't matter where the person comes from as long as he is trying to help us. It's very simple. He saw a problem and is going after it.

      April 16, 2010 at 23:48 | Report abuse |
  8. Dr. Reid Winick, DDS

    Any plan that bebefits our kids is a great idea. Some suggestions. The water would best be in glass bottles to decrease plastic exposure. Look into Mountain Valley water, they have glass bottles. Also, avoiding foods with high fructose corn syrup is a most. My feeling is that people have good intentions, but they fall short in their actions for a number of reasons of which I will not bring up.

    Dr. Reid Winick, DDS

    April 16, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Kirit

    Jamie Oliver makes so much sense – there is nothing I can disagree with what he says.

    April 16, 2010 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Kat

    I agree with everything he says. As a signle Mom I couldn't afford the junk food so we didn't have it. My son started as "sous" chef when he was 4 years old. I'd chop the veggies and he'd be on his knees at the dining room table putting our salad together. When he hit high school I told him he had to take a cooking course. He took basic and loved it. Went back for French and International. Now he does the cooking in his family. His wife is a distance runner and eats very healthy - my son is really into it and so is my 4 year old granddaughter!

    It takes some time to teach kids when they are young. But if we don't teach them, where will they learn. I remember a neighbor who bought 10 lb. of cold cuts and cheese every week and that's what the kids ate - they made their own sandwiches. She said "I don't cook." I've often wondered how those kids ended up.

    I grew up in the country with a grandfather who grew what we ate. My son grew up gardening with me. Kids need to know where food comes from and what REAL food tastes like. I applaud Jamie and his efforts!

    April 16, 2010 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. MDWilliams

    to Vickie in Marietta: as it says in the article, Jamie Oliver started his mission to improve the way schoolchildren eat in his home country of Britain. so, yes, there are folks in his country who can use his help–and to whom he has provided it. now he's bringing it over here. i don't see how that's insulting at all.

    but while on the subject, there actually are also people right here who are working hard to get our kids eating more healthfully. Alice Waters' The Edible Schoolyard program, Michelle Obama bringing focus to involving kids in growing healthy food and exercising...these are just a couple of examples of people here who are making it a priority to get kids healthier.

    April 17, 2010 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Concerned Mom

    With all due respect, Vicky, have you not even Googled Jamie to see what he has ALREADY done in the UK? Because of his efforts, the UK has made changes to what the school children ate.

    By all means, I am NOT insulted that he is here in the USA. He's got plenty of other things he could be doing. Yes, we have dietitians and nutritionists, but what can they really do to make such a large change in our country? There are lots of grass roots efforts going on all across the country and that is fantastic – but we NEED someone like Jamie who isn't afraid to go in and stir the pot. It needs to be someone with a certain amount of celebrity status AND credibility and so far no one in the USA has stepped up to do that. While I would definitely encourage any and all groups (churches, scouts, etc.) to do their own "project", having this Food Revolution is something that MILLIONS of people have or will be seeing.....as commercial as it is, it's also proving to be extremely effective in reaching the masses.

    Definitely recommend that you Google some of Jamie's accomplishments before jumping the gun.

    April 17, 2010 at 00:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Huntington resident

    As a new resident (1 1/2 yrs.) of Huntington WV I was surprized by all the attention placed on a recent poll indicating this small city has such an unhealthy rep. There is more walking in the parks, more people working out at the YMCA than any place I've ever lived for this sized city. Jamie didn't focus on any of the good, but high lighted all the bad. So a good lite was never seen on his show. 2 thumbs down to the British chef for his shows insite of the Huntington area.

    April 17, 2010 at 00:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Sarah in Texas

    Thank you Jamie for all your work and efforts toward change. I truly appreciate and agree with your views and am thankful you are shining a light on this problem. Thank you and keep up the great work!

    April 17, 2010 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. TO: Vicki, Marietta, GA

    Notice you are the only one not agreeing? To not appreciate Jamie's message and goal because he is from England is outrageous. Yes, our country has chefs, dietitians, and nutritionists. And many of them are doing things to change the way we eat and I'm sure they all applaud the fact that Jamie was able to get prime time on television to reach millions of people with their message! It is not about England or America – it is about people being healthy. Geez, open your mind and learn something.

    April 17, 2010 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. elsie

    VIcki in Marietta, you sound just like that DJ in Huntingdon who trashtalked the program all the way, angry at the very idea of making changes because that would imply that was something wrong with the way there was. Heaven forbit we should learn something about food from a chef, or improve our lives in any way.

    Did you even read the article? He's here because he has been doing this over and over again in Britain with such success that their entire national school food program has been overhauled. He has found a formula that works extremely well and that's why he's bringing it here – because the situation in the US is similar and what worked in the UK hopefully would work here as well. And apparently in Huntingdon it has had an impact, not to mention those who've seen the show.

    Maybe if you'd actually have a look at the show a time or two, you'd find out that you're the one being snobby, not Jaime. He's as down to earth and unelitist as they come, and he cares about people whose health is at risk.

    April 17, 2010 at 00:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Eryn David

    I love the Food Revolution! As a military family we've lived in places that do a wonderful job with feeding and educating children and others that fail. I feel that much of the problem here and as seen on the TV show is the USDA requirements. They don't exactly give an allowance for including fresh ingredients especially when so many foods are subsidized. We've lived in communities with a high number of local farms but none of that food ever showed up in the school cafeteria. All processed. I would love to see a way to implement school gardens or using local foods to supply school districts where available. Imagine how PC/green that could be!

    April 17, 2010 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Anne

    Vicki from Marietta, GA

    Apparently we CAN'T do it ourselves, otherwise we would've done it by now without intervention from outside, wouldn't we? Why do you feel so offended that someone is trying to teach us what is right for our children?? If Boy Scouts or church groups could've done it, then Oliver's intervention would have been unnecessary. However, noone else was doing the right thing, hence someone else (it happened to be Oliver) came up with a precious lesson.

    Sop being so darn proud and just take the advice...

    April 17, 2010 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. jk

    I know the background on Jamie Oliver's food revolution and I agree with his message. However, he's a terrible communicator. His responses to Dr. Gupta's questions make NO sense. I think if you had no idea who he was, you would not have a clue what he is talking about! Be clearer in your message!

    April 17, 2010 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Briana, San Antonio

    I am so thankful for Jamie Oliver's new show. I have never been a mom to sit my kids on the couch and feed them Cheetos and soda. But it's the hidden additives that Jamie drew our attention to that has made me totally re-evaluate the way I feed my family. Hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrups are in so many things that I give my children, not even realizing how dangerous these things can be if consumed normally. In response to Vicki from Marietta, it's that kind of closed-minded attitude that will not hurt you, but our future generations. See him for who he is: a genuinely concerned human being who has left behind his family in England to help us live longer, more healthy lives. He's not here to "fix" us. Read the article, and watch the show, and see that he talks about how unhealthy both England and the U.S. is. This is not a "Group project" type situation. Americans are dying earlier and earlier because we can't get a handle on our diets. He's really trying to revolutionize the way we eat. There's no Boy Scout badge for that. Second, don't the boy scouts sell junk food for a fundraiser every year? If you don't like his advise, then change the channel. But don't try to turn other people off to him. Mr. Oliver, you're my new hero. 🙂

    April 17, 2010 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. nwp

    I believe in what Oliver is doing. I am trying soooo hard to teach my 5 year old how to eat right and it is a constant battle I feel I am loosing. She could be one of those kids who would eat that nugget even watching him make it. Getting her to eat veggies is a daily battle. I kept her from fast food for the first 3 1/2 years she never ate at one of those places. I always cook and give her healthy treats. We don't buy any processed foods. I keep a large veggie garden in our yard.
    However, I am beginning to believe it is impossible to keep her from the junk.
    She gets it at her friends' homes.
    She gets it at school.
    Her sitter (grandma!!!) give her junk all day when I work regardless of my telling her not to do so (otherwise a great sitter)
    How do you do it? I am fighting an enormous, overpowering monster and cannot control it.

    April 17, 2010 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Kate

    Why do people insist on justifying the consumption on junk food based on the fact that it is cheaper? Yea, junk food is cheaper as snacks and meals. However, healthier things like fruits and vegetables provide much more nutrition so we don't need to snack every hour! If people used common sense they wouldn't be spending more money, they'd just be eating less because they would feel nourished from the GOOD foods they ate rather than the crap they put in their bodies just because they think it's less expensive.

    April 17, 2010 at 00:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Lesle

    I am so glad that Jamie has come to America to wake us up. Someone has to do it. I honestly feel that younger parents these days don't know how to cook or shop. Look at the drive up lines at the fast food places a supper time. I would love to give some cooking lessons on basic simple healthy meals. Keep up the good work Jamie!

    April 17, 2010 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. fdm

    This is a great show! On one episode, it was really enlightening to see Jamie trying to have the young kids guess the different types of vegatables. It was appalling to see they didn't know a potato from a cauliflower! But then I thought, that my toddler son probably didn't either, because I wasn't taking the time in the supermarket to show him and have him help me shop. So last time we went, he sat it the cart, and I pointed out the vegetables and made it a fun guessing game, and he helped me put things in bags. A great learning experience for me also to demystify unusual foods.

    April 17, 2010 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. futon nugget

    Hey, if someone or some group in the states could/would step forward and do the job they'd be most welcome.

    We send help to other countries where there is need when we also have needs at home. That doesn't me we shouldn't. So where's the logic in not accepting him because he's a 'foreigner'?

    April 17, 2010 at 01:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Tracy Austin, MD

    I like what Jamie Oliver is doing for schools and nutrition. I'm a physician- my focus is culinary medicine and I'm a wellness advocate.
    This is something that I had to fight against through my entire educational experience in undergrad, medical school, and clinical medicine. I had to resist the tempting abundance of unhealthy hospital cafeteria food, calorie laden and fatty catered meals from drug reps, vending machines, soda, and on-campus food stores are that were filled with unhealthy foods. Unfortunately, many doctors still tend to eat these foods, and it shows. Because of this, many people/patients view us as hypocrites when we try to educate about wellness. Ultimately, I've decided to lead by example, and not only talk about wellness. I live it everyday, and maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight. Thus, I believe patients/people respect me more as a physician.
    The Kitchen Prescription- http://www.thekitchenrx.com

    April 17, 2010 at 01:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Teresa

    YES! We need Jamie Oliver here, who cares if he's from Britain, no one in the US is doing anything about this horrible problem. Over the last 6 months I have been eating fresh foods, rarely do I eat out, I have cut out all soda and my good cholesterol is up, my bad is down, and I lost 30 lbs!!!

    I feel healthier too because of all the fresh produce and fruits I am eating now.

    My daughter is a little over a year old and she eats nothing but organic, then I thought, well if I'm doing this for her, shouldn't I do it for myself so she can have a healthy mom around for a long time?

    Anyone that complains about Jamie is just too afraid to look at themselves in the mirror, and besides, most of us here come from Britain at some point.

    April 17, 2010 at 02:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Ranjit

    I started a cooking program with the youth group at my church earlier this year. Then I saw Jamie's TED presentation (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jamie_oliver.html) and I've decided that I will have the kids in the youth group learn to cook 10 recipes by the time they're 17. The amazing thing is that other people in my church, especially the seniors have all gotten excited about this. They really want to help this young generation figure things out esp. when it comes to food. So they're all stepping up and volunteering to come teach kids their simple recipes. I just love it. Thanks Jamie, and good luck to you, and good luck to everyone around the world. Also, please – we must teach our kids NOT to waste food.

    April 17, 2010 at 02:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Sharon Danielsen

    Way to go Jamie! It is about time someone starts waking up the American people to the growing problem. And so what if he is from England. He is an inspiration to a younger generation. I am almost ashamed to call myself American when it comes to food and obesity. The whole world is looking at us, pointing their fingers, and laughing at us! Wake up and be happy to get some help! And if you say he is just here to make a profit I don't believe it. He works hard and has passion. He could have stayed at home and continued to make money. He deserves the money he gets for the show and then some!

    April 17, 2010 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Bernie

    @ Vicki:

    What difference does it make who starts the revolution? Apparently no one in the US was even concerned about the health of children. Your logic is completely out of whack!! He has helped people in Europe, hence, his drive to help people in the US. It does not smack "of blatant commercialism at the expense of low income or uneducated Americans." He is attacking the way schools are feeding our children with junk!!

    It is totally feasible to purchase fresh food. In fact, buying frozen fruits and veggies are so much better for you since they retain all the nutrients that fresh produce loses. So before you start talking out your rear, research the information first!! What the heck are the scouts and the church is supposed to do with that information? No one else is motivated to do what Jamie is trying to do!! But since you're such a critic, why don't you get off your rear end and do something about it yourself?

    April 17, 2010 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Bill Sargent

    @ Viki :

    I'm not insulted at all that a british person comes to the US to "fix" us as you say. It isn't about where he's from. And apparently you don't have proper dietitians and intelligent people working in the school system to educate people because it's not happening. Wise up Viki, please. He's just a human being trying to help others. Americans need to not be so sensitive about where he's from and just look at him as someone who wants to do good things.

    I read a story recently about school kids in Kentucky (Yes another fine uneducated southern state), where they plan to give kids a brown paper sack lunch if they can't afford the regular school meal. It includes a cheese sandwich and milk. So you tell me, Viki, does that sound healthy to you?

    I welcome JAmie Oliver. As do all forward thinking americans who actually care about their kids and family.

    April 17, 2010 at 04:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. krista

    I completely agree with Jamie...I am a full time working parent. Yet I still make the time to put home cooked meals on the table. No processed foods. I also grow a garden which my 3 boys help with. It just takes a little time, thought and preparation to make sure you know what is going in their mouths!!
    The schools are a different story..

    Kudos Jamie!!!

    April 17, 2010 at 04:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. ken proud

    Vicki, Marietta, GA, feels a bit insulted that a guy from Britain comes over here to FIX us? Aren't there folks in England who could use his help? If you read the article Vicki, you'd see that he's helped thousands of folks in England. Schools provide better meals for school children and research shows that absenteeism has dropped and grades gone up.
    And he's obviously had an impact on you as you now suggest that Boy Scouts or church groups could take it on as a group project. Which is a great concept – but no one thought about it till Jamie Oliver came along, specifically targeting low income families to show how they can cook cheap nutritious meals for their kids.

    April 17, 2010 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Erin

    I'm sure there are some people in England that need him, but let's face it, the USA needs him more and I welcome Gupta's attempts to draw attention to the epidemic of obesity.

    Healthy food can be cheap – go to the Farmer's Market – let the kids pick out what they want. Reduce your meat consumption – if you eat meat, it should be a side dish, not the main part of the meal. Don't buy everything prepared – cut it up yourself, etc. Don't buy the junk food! Feed them vegetables and fruits when they are hungry.

    TURN OFF THE TV. Kids don't need TV or internet access in their bedrooms. They need to be outside running and playing. PULL THE PLUG on that stuff. Play sports with your kids, not nintendo. Make sure they get enough sleep – don't let them stay up half the night texting their friends, watching youtube, etc.

    April 17, 2010 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Joe

    Vicki – if you watch the show, many of the people there felt the same way. In response, Jamie Oliver comments that this is not a cultural issue or one that is defined by our country, but a basic human issue. Sure, it would be great if someone who was from here took on this challenge, but no one has yet! In the end, does it matter who starts this change or where that person is "from?"

    I have a 2 year old son and personally think that it is a great show. If he was fed what those schoolchildren in Huntington were fed every day, I would pack his lunch every day.

    April 17, 2010 at 06:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. DeAnna

    Thank you, Jamie.

    April 17, 2010 at 06:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. TGirl

    I completely agree about soda. 8 months ago I completely eliminated soda, nothing carbonated and nothing with that much sugar. Artificial sweeteners make me sick, so not even any diet drinks or mixes. I drink coffee, tea and water. No joke, I lost 65 pounds and only added minimal excercise to my routine.

    April 17, 2010 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Mom and Teacher

    I love Jamie's show! I wish that he would come to my school district.

    Everybody is correct in that proper nutrition is not talked about enough, nor is it taught anymore. When I grew up, we learned about nutrition in school – but I went to school before standardized testing became so prevalent. Now, if it's not tested on – it's not related to Core Content – then it's not taught.

    Our students might be able to pass their Stanford 10 test, or the state assessment – but they have no idea about nutrition or other things that actually affect their life on a daily basis. Our American students have to learn about China and Egypt so they can pass it on a test, but they have no idea, nor do they learn about, what to put on their plate every meal – and how it will affect them now and for many years to come.

    April 17, 2010 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Lynn Garnett

    Thank you Jamie Oliver! We have been watching your show and hope you can continue on our soil with this ever-so-important campaign. I don't believe it costs more to eat healthily so thank you for debunking that myth. If you hold up a bag of apples next to a box of snack cakes, I would venture to say the snack cakes are more expensive. Drink water or make iced tea vs. drinking sodas. As Jamie says, buy produce seasonally. Yes, it takes time to make everything from scratch but you have to look at the long term picture. The cost of treating diabetes, high blood pressure and other eating-related disorders is much more expensive than that bunch of broccoli you picked up then put down because you thought it was too costly at the time.

    April 17, 2010 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Shannon

    My first comment is to Vicki in Marietta – I don't think this is insulting at all! He tackled the problem in England first and implemented with great success nutritional programs to start their battle. I think this is a man who sees a problem that no one wants to be vocal about and he has the guts to say – Hey America! You have a problem! You aren't alone with it! How can we help!

    If you watch his interviews and the programs that he has done about this – he's not TARGETTING America – he looked at the countries with the highest rates of childhood obesity and STARTED with them. It's a world-wide initiative for everyone to eat better and live healthier.

    I applaud him for stepping out and getting the message delivered. It may be shock value in some of the ways that he presents – but I would rather have the shock of seeing the possible ramifications of what the diet can do to my kids – than to have the shock of the medical treatments that sometimes have to go along with an obese child. He's trying to help – my mom taught me never to be afraid to ask for it – I say with the percentages of obese and/or unhealthy kids in the US – WE asked for it! Don't run him off because you disagree. If you do – that's fine – leave your kids live the lifestyle you choose to teach them. But let the rest of us learn from an expert that wants nothing more than to make a positive change in the health of our kids and the world as a whole.

    April 17, 2010 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Rachel

    Bravo, Jamie....you are doing a wonderful job.........................amd now will the rest of evryone that is getting in his way, smarten up and let him do his job?

    April 17, 2010 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Bonnie, Oklahoma

    Vicki, someone from outside a community can provide much needed perspective. Yes, we do have Americans with the same sensibilities and skills. But, we still have a huge problem that is getting worse. I say we should open our hearts and minds to anyone with workable solutions. We Americans can learn a thing or two from other countries. We will all be better for it.

    April 17, 2010 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. mavis murphy

    hi jamie and gupta

    I am a 65 year old female. I live in Canada and the US but I was born and raised in the UK. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks! We were brought up with no frozen food, no burger joints and we always had fresh food everyday because we couldn't afford a fridge.

    Frozen food companies are having a field day because lots of young women haven't got a clue or don't want to havea clue. They buy frozen almost ready to eat food. It's so expensive and loaded with salt.

    Sorry Jamie I have never needed anyone to tell me how to eat. Prepared food is the most expensive. I used to get up early and put on the old crock pot in Canada and then drive 80 kms to work one way everyday. My three kids only got fast food once a year and that was a treat.

    Love and kisses from an old cockney from the east end

    ps all my old german, italian and greek friends all cook from scratch as well. My own daughters refuse to cook. They watched their old mum slaving over the stove and it isn't for them. Mind you they are red hot when it comes to nutrition because I was their teacher.

    April 17, 2010 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. bogie

    I LOVE THIS SHOW! we eat really well in our house, but when i was growing up that's how my mom fed us. we never had sugar cereals and when we were allowed it was a BIG deal. when i go to the store, if one of the ingredients is high fructose corn syrup, i put it back on the shelf. the grocery stores in our area are starting to stock healthier choices and that makes me happy. jamie oliver just says it like it is, pure and simple, and it's inspiring to watch him. as usual, it's the adults who are holding the children back. if a child is hungry, they will eat what's in front of them. it just takes a little time. thanks jamie, you are awesome!

    April 17, 2010 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. John

    @Vicki April 16th, 2010 22:21 ET

    Sure, those groups *could* try to spread the word, but are they? No. At least Jamie is using his celebrity to promote an important message. If you watch the show, despite whatever the commercial intentions of the producers, I think you will find that Jamie passionately believes in what he's preaching. In an age when *everything* a child encounters from a young age is designed by marketers to promote a product (often an unhealthy one), Jamie's message is one we can all afford to hear more often.

    April 17, 2010 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Matt

    Vicki, it's sad to see that you find this situation insulting. I'm sure you say this in your Georgia home that is probably draped in both the United States and Confederate flag. How dare a good idea come from anywhere else but the good ol' USA. Have another bag of Freedom Fries with that shake.

    I have a family of six. We aren't perfect when we eat but I try to buy healthy non-boxed items for our menus. Cooking healthy isn't any more expensive or time consuming if you know what to look for and plan ahead. My family of six eats on about $130 a week.

    Now if I could just get rid of the darned cats it would be down to $115.

    April 17, 2010 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Erik

    I think part of the problem lies with the mentality that putting a bunch of vitamin powder in food makes them healthy. I know people who will have a vitamin-enriched diet coke or vitamin water as a replacement for a meal. Ridiculous. There are probably at least a thousand food items being marketed as "healthy" that are really junk food with vitamin powder.

    We need to get away from processed foods (i.e.frozen vegetables packed in ready made sauces, etc.) and get back to basic foods.

    We also need to scale food portions way back. The quantity served in a restaurant for one person is insane. I saw a show called "Meet the Natives" where a tribesman had dinner with an American family. He made the comment that the dinner they were having for a family of three plus the three natives would feed their entire tribe (at least 30 people). It's downright embarrassing.

    Thanks, Jamie Oliver, for taking on this critically important issue.

    April 17, 2010 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. iluvsam

    One of the things that stood out to me when I watched Jamie's show was that he made a dish for the students that had 7 different varieties of vegetables in it, was made from scratch, and was otherwise healthy all around, but the administrator told him that he didn't have enough vegetables. He pointed out that it had 7 different varieties of vegetables in it. She stated that according to State standards, it didn't have enough, but that a plate of french fries had the recommended amount of vegetables. It is ridiculous to me that a a healthy plate of food containing a variety of vegetables of all colors was turned away in favor of serving kids a food with a high fat intake with clear negative health implications. The standards seem to be out of whack.

    April 17, 2010 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. donna

    To Vicki – Have you seen Church Cookbooks??? They are simply recipes submitted by people in the congregation, Boy Scouts? Please !!!
    Jamie Oliver is saying some smart things and people should listen, does it matter if he is a Brit?
    My kids (12 & 15 ) are vegetarians, their lunches are packed every day. There is always a bowl of fruit on our table and veggies in the fridge, and for the most part when their friends come over, that is what they snack on.
    Ya know what, their friends have been introduced to some new fruits and veggies (as well as veggie dogs and meatballs) over the years and have gone home and asked for them! You don't know if you like something till you try 🙂

    April 17, 2010 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Susan

    Vicki in Marietta, please watch the back episodes of the show. You sound just like the dj who doubted Jamie and Alice, the cook in the elementary school. The choices available to today's children are lacking in quality. Have you seen what is fed in Cobb Cty schools or schools nationally for that matter. Parents don't want to eat it, why should we feed it to our kids? Please explain how feeding fresh food is not always feasible. Why? because it's not "convenient" for the parent. I don't pay attention to the organic only, everything must be pure hype. I just made a choice to improve my skills in the kitchen and offer my kids less processed food. I get resistance but they want fast food less and less so that is a victory in my book. I support Jamie's efforts. How cool!

    April 17, 2010 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.