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. Keith

    I would like to jig 101. Changing eating habits does not necessarily mean having to go organic. Vegetables grown in non organic farms have the same nutrition values as organinc farms, the same for a lot of the meats and milk that are raised normally. There is a wave trying to say the word organic means better nutritionally and that is not the case. Yes a lot of the non fast food does cost more but you need to look at portions, a well balanced meal does not need as many calories or as much fat as there are in fast food or convenience items.
    My family has made the transition and we actually do not pay more for groceries than we used to.

    April 17, 2010 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Matt

    Vicki, Marietta:

    Why does it make one bit of difference where he's from if he's just trying to help? He got the British gov't to commit 650 million pounds (that's almost one BILLION dollars!!) to healthy school lunches by doing the same thing he's doing in Huntington. Who cares if it's "blatant commercialism ", which I don't think it is anyway.

    Unfortunately, the Boy Scouts and church groups don't carry the celebrity stature required to get anybody in this celebrity obsessed culture listen. Nice idea, but get real. If Paris Hilton ain't sellin' it, then America ain't buyin' it.

    Providing fresh food IS economically feasible, it just takes effort. Many Americans are just too lazy, "too busy" or, in Huntington's case, too stubborn to cook healthy meals. We're the richest nation on Earth, so I'm pretty sure a lack of funds isn't what's making us the fattest one too.

    April 17, 2010 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. D G

    I think Jamie's got the right idea, I know he opened my eyes and that of my 18 yr. old daughter. Keep it up Jamie, American families need you!

    April 17, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Wayne

    Our problem here is really not so much WHAT we eat, but rather HOW MUCH we consume. Fast food places all offer healthy choices now, but we still take the Whopper or Big Mac instead of the salad with the low fat dressing. Jamie is trying to get us pointed in the right direction by working with people in a place known to have big problems. Why do people have to make it an England vs. USA thing? The Europeans have long shown that their diets are healthier than ours. Just look at the rampant heart disease in this country. And please, don't try to convince me it's cheaper to eat burgers, fries, nuggets or whatever, rather than boneless, skinless chicken breasts, lean beef and fresh veggies. Local produce stands or markets are not that expensive and give you a multitude of choices for great menu items.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Dixon Gannett

    Jamie! I have been glued to the TV on Friday nights just waiting for the show from Huntington, WV. I sincerely hope Alice wakes up to what Jamie is doing. He is on the right track. God forbid any change should take place! Well, Jamie has thought enough of us over here in the USA to help us make these important changes for our kids. It doesn't make any difference where Jamie comes from. He is on a mission that is well intentioned – give him room to work and support him all the way. Way to go, Mate! And I'm not even English. You know what? Fresh produce and meats from the local area helps everyone in Huntington. God bless that obese family. I hope the young lady lives for a hundred years, not just 5-7, and her brother becomes an excited and proud chef.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Patrick

    Vicki, from Marietta, did you even read the article??? Jamie has already proved sucessful in England. Why should we feel insulted? Has an American stepped up and done what he is doing with his Food Revolution? It's not like he was recruited because we like his accent! Yeah, let the Boy Scouts convince congress to grant millions of dollars for our school lunch program. Jamie Oliver is credible, smart, and convincing. Who cares what country he came from.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. mama

    great stuff! great to see great minds coming together for the sake of being informed and keeping our kids healthy. it's about time! thanks doc and jamie!

    April 17, 2010 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. April

    I've seen Jaime's Revolution show once so far and it was good. I saw the interview on Dr. Gupta's show this morning and there was good info shared (as usual!). (A lot of what I've read and watched lately talks about the Mediterranean diet and eating fresh foods, cutting out packaged foods). I thought I heard Jaime mention something about 10 things everyone should know how to make - I've checked this website and his and didn't find that information – and I may have misunderstood. If you can point me in the right direct, that would be great. I believe a common problem a lot of us are experiencing as we try to eat/cook more healthy, is finding the tools and a plan to get started and anything that helps us achieve this goal that also addreses time management would most likely increase the success of those who are really trying.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. greg

    I think Micke sums it up quite nicely.

    "While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest. "
    — Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)

    "...There's a lot of money in the Western diet. The more you process any food, the more profitable it becomes. The healthcare industry makes more money treating chronic diseases (which account for three quarters of the $2 trillion plus we spend each year on health care in this country) than preventing them. "
    — Michael Pollan (Food Rules: An Eater's Manual)

    April 17, 2010 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Larry Harrah

    We have been married for 47 yrs, my wife was raised on the farm
    working with the amimals and in fields didn't get a chance to cook
    much so, after our marriage her attention turned to cooking too.
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Six children later we were blessed
    with very healthy children, our daughters learned form their mother
    they are excellent cooks too. The moral of the story is that almost
    everything starts at HOME! wake-up MOM and DAD! even with modern
    convenience's they can't get inspired. In India they are still cooking on three stones, parent delinquency, true love will lead you to the KITCHEN, marriage will bring many responsibilities, if fast food
    is your kitchen you need to go on a FAST! Our families deserve the best we can give them, I'm 68 and still HEALTHY, GOOD LUCK JAMIE!

    April 17, 2010 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. PK California

    Read the article. Jamie has already done this and succeeded in England. He has the right idea, but we are so stuck in a rut, that we are not willing to try another approach. We not only need changes in school, but at home. Kids may get a healthy meal in school and then go home and fill up on snack food and stuff themselves with comfort food for dinner. Couldn't hurt to offer menus and recipes to parents who don't have the time to take classes on nutrition, but they should be offered. Those who are serious about changing our kids' diets, should look into getting a weekly menu with recipes to be offered to parents. What impressed me most about Jamie's cooking was when he made meat sauce for spaghetti, he finely chopped up oodles of veggies and added them. The kids never knew and loved it!

    April 17, 2010 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Kathy

    Good on ya Jamie!!! Not offended in the least that you are British and educating us Yanks. Processed foods are BIG business (in more ways than one). Just read that health insurance companies have stock in fast food corps. Ugh! Eating unprocessed food—fresh, alive food, and obesity and illness will greatly diminish. Health and what we eat is intrinsically linked.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jo

    I applaud Jamie Oliver!
    I doubt a lot of high profile people would attempt to do what he is doing. There is a lot to be learned from him.
    Just go through your fridge and pantry and see what you're feeding your kids...I have...
    Let's join the Food Revolution!

    April 17, 2010 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mar

    I applaud Jamie and his efforts to educate our youth on healthy eating. If it takes a sort of sensationalism to wake-up parents, schools and government into action or change, then all the better. Although the school lunch programs are being used a vehicle for his message, we (parents, voters and politicians) need to incorporate his ideas into our homes, and policies.

    Kids need the education, but apparently so do many parents; we are the example.

    Keep bringing it on Jamie!

    April 17, 2010 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Marky

    I back Jamie 100%! My kids thought fast food was a treat we had once in a while, not a regular part of our diet. I even made all our bread, had a garden and canned or froze our produce as much as possible. My kids ate everything and enjoyed it all. Now some of my grandchildren are living on fast food and are starting to show the side effects of beginning obesity and another lives on soda. It makes me so sad. It's not that hard to cook and water and milk taste great! Produce and good food is not that hard to buy where we live, if you know how to shop.

    Keep getting the work out, Jamie! It may save my daughter's life and my grandchildren's lives, as well as others'. You have a lot of us behind you!

    April 17, 2010 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Chris

    @Vicki What a ridiculously narrow-minded comment. This guy has come over having helped with exactly the same problem in the UK as we have here. His point is that with a little education people can MAKE CHOICES on what they eat, not that they HAVE to eat one way or another. What you should really be angry about is why the healthcare professionals in this country didn't have enough courage to do the same thing themselves. You should be supporting his efforts, not looking at a gift horse in the mouth. What a great example of "the ugly american" you set for all of us.

    April 17, 2010 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Ben Reynolds

    I was born and raised until the age of 13 in Huntington, WV. As a family we ate rather well and took time to cook proper meals and shop for 'real' food. I would attribute part of this to my parents both being well-educated professionals that loved to cook. Thankfully, they conveyed that respect for quality ingredients and healthy cooking to my brother and myself.

    That being said, they were both among the first of their families to get a college degree and become professionals. My grandparents were working-class folks who toiled in the mills or worked on the railroad. Everyone smoked and they tended to use bacon grease and/or butter where most people now use olive or canola oil. They did raise much of their own vegetables and I remember long hours canning throughout the summer and fall putting food away for the winter months. However, meals were always protein plus multiple starches with some vegetables – all cooked with plenty of the aforementioned fats. As you can imagine, all four of my grandparents (three are now deceased) suffered in their old age from heart disease, type II diabetes, strokes and cancer.

    As another person commented, 'fast food' was a treat to be had quite infrequently. I can recall how excited we would get if we were taken to Burger Chef or some other joint. Fast food meals were rare and frozen food was not often served at our table. Looking back I ask myself what made our household different? I can only attribute it to the level of education my parents attained and the fact that they did make enough money to afford healthy and fresh ingredients for our meals.

    I have been back to Huntington often and have seen the devistation that cheap and poor quality food has wrought on that community. Obesity is the norm, not the exception. It saddened me to attend my Uncle's funeral last year and see how many people are suffering from multiple ailments, all brought about through a lifetime of uncontrolled bad habits. Yes, self-discipline is essential and ultimately the individual is accountable for their own decisions on how they eat, if they exercise and so on. Yet healthful ingredients must be affordable and attainable for those decisions to be possible. Education such as that being offered by Mr. Oliver and people like him is essential.

    I have watched Mr. Oliver's show and cringe every time I do. The reluctance and outright stubborness of the people in charge of the food services in the schools is appalling. The standards they are forced to follow are unconscionable. If we are going to stop this epidemic of Obesity and all of the harm that results from it we must take a stand and force change to occur. As long as those standards are in place and the food service professionals are forced to follow them then these children will suffer. These standards are literally poisoning our children and setting them up for a lifetime of unhealthy choices.

    I do hope that some time is taken to illustrate that not everyone who was born and raised in Huntington has followed the path the show is following. However, I know that my family is more the exception than the norm. Unfortunately, this is not just a West Virginia problem it is one of national scope. We must lobby for change at all levels, federal, state and local. Until we do, we will continue to pay for these decisions through higher costs of healthcare due to treating people who have lived a lifetime of bad habits.

    Thank you Mr. Oliver and Dr. Gupta for forcing Americans to face this issue head-on. Its about time...

    April 17, 2010 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JGM

    This is wild how addictive this whole healthy food for kids movement has become, for kids, for adults, for the nation, and for us in our home. I think it is marvelous and Jamie we completely support you, naked or not.

    April 17, 2010 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Steph

    I am thankful to Jamie that he has finally came over from England and took this problem on because this is a big problem. YES Dr. Reid Winnick, the problem in the USA is so big that the issues just go on and on, but the little steps have to be taken on first. I do remember also when I was a child, I was rewarded once in a while to fast food and boy was that a treat. As for preparing food and making a healthy meal, no it does not take long, and if done correctly it does not cost an arm and a leg. Very good nutrition will fill you up and keep you filled up. It is all that processed food and high sugars that run through the system that make you feel hungry in a small amount of time, it is all basically centered around the glycemic index...basically because your glucose, and your metabolism is all messed up!!! If you eat and drink correctly and get everything under control, your mind and body works together!!!! You will just feel great!!!!!!

    Love you Jamie!!!!

    April 17, 2010 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Fernando

    To answer Vicky from Marietta, Jamie already did this in England an very succesfully. It actually says it in the article. And to answer the question directly "NO" we are not offended, we are greatful!

    Thank you Jamie, keep going! We are behind you...

    April 17, 2010 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Bronxgirl

    When I was growing up, pizza and Macdonald's were special treats on rare occasions. Everything my mom cooked she cooked from scratch. We didn't have much money but she wouldn't buy processed anything. And of course now that I have a child, I cook every meal from scratch. It doesn't take longer than 20 mins and the results are sooo much better! We even make homemade pizza now instead of ordering from local pizza place.

    It's unbelievable that it took a British chef to start a food revolution in our country! Thanks SO MUCH, Jamie! I hope you'll be joined by many more American chefs, school administrators, politicians, parents, etc. in making sure our kids get healthy food.

    April 17, 2010 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Heather

    I have been following "Food Revolution" as much as possible and totally applaud Jamie for what he is doing – I was the "fat kid" in grade school and high school and I was definitely the exception – probably about 10 years ago I noticed that I was seeing more overweight/obese kids than when I was a child- and it makes me really sad because to this day I can remember how I felt at that age being overweight, and not being able to do all the things other kids could do, wear the "fashionable" clothes, or even just being included in the group, etc. – to this day I struggle with weight and food issues – I don"t know what different turns my life maybe would have taken had I been thinner or been given more guidance in understanding nutrition and food choices and the impact they have on your health. I do know that as a nation we are going down a dangerous path with our nations health and future and it needs to be in check, and one place to start is with our kids -they are the future.

    April 17, 2010 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Wendy Hagen

    It starts at home. For sure. Yeah for Jamie and the Food Revolution!

    April 17, 2010 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Samantha

    In response to Vicki-

    I'm not offended that a British guy is helping us. I'm from West Virginia and I don't care if he's from Mars, the bottom line is he has celebrity status as a chef and that gives him access to network television and a much greater audience at a much quicker rate than someone who does not have that. And besides, I don't see any American celebrity chefs campaigning like he is for this really important cause.

    Also, if you've read the article you'll see that Jaime Oliver has done this in Britain and it resulted in the government committing 650 pounds to changing the public school diet.

    More power to him. Americans can be so short-sighted and proud for all the wrong reasons.

    April 17, 2010 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Linda

    to Vicki of Marietta GA:

    Jamie Oliver led a very successful campaign in the UK about four years ago – the TV ratings for the show about it were incredibly high, and the UK government changed the way in which they fund childrens lunches. All that, and yet no-one in the US took his lead and trued to do the same thing.

    So, instead of being quite so xenophobic (what does it matter where he came from when all he is trying to do is good), you should be thanking him!

    April 17, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Cindy

    So it takes a Brit to wake up the Americans Heh?? Well. good on Jamie Oliver!!!

    April 17, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. juran

    We've been watching Jamie's show and he is right on target. However, there are pitfalls to eating fresh meats and vegetables. If one looks at the labels for fresh chicken and pork, one may find that there is broth injected into the meat to create uniform weights – up to 15% residual liquid with the additional salt. I believe 4-5% is normal for chicken. So vigilance is the word of the day (and read the labels! – of course one risks losing his or her appetite at the sight of the ingredients, which may not be a bad thing).

    April 17, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. dallasguy

    You know what else is disgusting? HOSPITAL CAFETERIAS. I've emailed the powers that be where I work, but the only answer I ever receive is that they have to sell what people want. I say, "B.S." If that's the case, then I say 'poo-poo' to all the talk the hospitals make about healthy living/choices etc...it is all a big charade for the public so that consumers will think that by coming to this hospital or that hospital, that they will get superior treatment, better health outcome etc...Hospital administrators are all about scamming the public and their employees, with the bottom line being to make a buck and increase profits. Shame on them!

    April 17, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Linda

    I've been watching Jamie's show with my 5th grade daughter. Thanks Jamie!! Although I can't say we don't go to McDonald's from time to time or order in pizza, I normally cook from scratch at least 6 dinners out of 7 and my daughter eats every fresh fruit and vegetable out there. However, she refuses to take a packed lunch to school and her school lunches are garbage! It drives me nuts that they offer kids a lunch option of a plain, white bagel and cream cheese!
    What has helped is that I didn't let her eat any candy until the Easter and Christmas holidays when she was 3 and she didn't have soda until a friend's birthday party when she was 6. At 11 she now eats fruit and vegetables as snacks and even loves munching on scallions!

    April 17, 2010 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Kim

    I just came from the grocery store. A woman in the produce section pointed to a pile of collard and mustard greens and said, "My doctor says I have to eat more of those, how do I cook them?" The other shoppers must have thought I was nuts as I gave an impromptu tour of the produce department(no, I do not work there.)

    Mr. Oliver, when are you coming to Lansing Michigan?

    April 17, 2010 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Halaluani

    @Mavis You make some good points except one. You spoke of your children seeing you "slave over a hot stove". This discourages people. I don't know what you used to cook but I cook fresh, whole foods and can make 100+ different meals in 10–20 min. prep time and 10-45 min. cook time. I don't consider this slaving. If I use the crock pot my prep time is 15 min. at the most, and the food is done in time for dinner. With the Internet, anyone can find simple, fast, and healthy recipes.

    April 17, 2010 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. workingmom40

    We watch the Food Revolution and love the show. What Jamie is saying is so true. My grandmother who has always grown her own fruits and vegies is extremely healthy at almost 80 years old.

    Today in the store my son wanted popsicles. Because he watches the show, I was able to show him his choices by reading the labels. When he saw that a brand of "natural" grape popsicles contained pear juice, corn syrup, liquid sugar, grape flavoring and a load of chemicals he could see the deception. He chose frozen fruit bars made of (in this order): Grapes, Grape Juice, Sugar. Yay!

    April 17, 2010 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Hope

    I applaud Jamie's efforts. Maybe he should bring over Gordon Ramsey to help out!?!

    April 17, 2010 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. MTer

    I too live in Georgia but have a much better outlook on Jamie's show so not everyone here in the south thinks like Vicki. I had heard about the wonderful job he did over in England with getting the school kid's meals replaced with the good foods. Dieticians, even doctors, do not usually bring up the fact about your weight or what kinds of foods should be included in your diet. I commend Jamie for his work here in the US and hopefully the WV stop is just the tip of the iceberg in his work towards bringing healthy eating back. I am 67 years old and when I was in grade school all of our meals were home cooked. You gotta remember- back then we did not have the packaged instant potatoes and such. The meals can be done from scratch.

    April 17, 2010 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Sandee

    Jamie, thanks for helping our kids eat better! I live in one of the richest counties in the U.S. and the elementary school food is especially horrendous! I know I wouldn't eat it.

    Please see what even the richest areas are eating. You'd be shocked: burgers that are shoe leather, pizza with french fries and corn, chicken nuggets., etc.

    Hey, where's the real food that"s healthy? They want these kids to be smart with all this junk?

    Shame on us!!!!

    April 17, 2010 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Karen Sims

    I happen to love what Jamie is doing. Processed foods are killing us. I hope it is so successful and goes nation wide. Our children deserve it. Keep it up Jamie!!!

    April 17, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Sharon

    I have been inspired by Jamie's efforts to improve the nutrition in school lunches. In our area, diabetes is known to be of epidemic proportions. The main response has been to take all sugary pop out of student stores. Thank you, Jamie, and the wonderful people of Huntington who have contributed so much to the nutrition education of so many. Together you have focused a giant spotlight on an often (sadly, not always) preventable health hazard. All around this country are groups, organizations, parents and individuals who care about health, ours and the children's. Now is the time for everyone to pull together for action. Now The Revolution!

    April 17, 2010 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. HKS

    I love the show, and I was happy that the radio host finally understood the importance of Jamie's message. I'm European so I was not exposed to McDonalds and the like while growing up. Neither we kids ever drank soda. We did not snack all the time like American kids do,
    no chips and other junk. - We ate when we had meal times, we did not
    eat because we were bored, sad, lonely...Actually, I had never seen an obese person until I came to America first time!

    April 17, 2010 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. David Thomas

    I like Jamie's ideas. Have not seen his show but know his aims. I wish this CNN article had been edited for clarity, though. Jamie's "answers" sound like a transcript from casual (sloppy) conversation, and that doesn't serve the purpose of driving his important points home.

    April 18, 2010 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Gloria

    I am a Cook Manager in an elementary school. I would like to know if there is a place to send a copy of my monthly menu, to receive feedback and/or suggestions.

    April 18, 2010 at 08:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Lee

    Just curious why the focus is on sugar laden foods, when in reality these foods do not contain regular sugar, but instead high-fructose corn syrup. This includes soft drinks, kids snacks, fruit juice, cereal, crackers, pizza, yogurt, cookies, breads (especially wheat varieties), salad dressings, condiments, all fast food products, and list seems to be endless. The role of high fructose corn syrup in the obesity epidemic in the US needs to be explored. This product began to be used by industries in the mid-70's and exploded on the market in the 80's and 90's, following our obesity epidemic trend. It seems that many people need to be educated on how to shop and to stick to the extremities of the grocery store and to cook more natural products. Dried beans are extremely easy to cook and cheap but many people have no idea how to prepare them. Education on these matters would be most beneficial.

    April 18, 2010 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. MTer

    To HKS- I graduated high school in 1961. The majority in the US was not overweight, we had no overweight students in my school and hardly ever saw an adult overweight. I really tend to think it has a lot to do with the way our food is being processed. Hormones given to animals to speed their growth in order to get them to market earlier. Young girls are going into puberty earlier now than in years past, that I also think because of addictives to our foods. I was in Europe in the early 80s and I saw a very obese european lady sitting topless around our hotel swimming pool. You say you did not grow up with McDonald's, well neither did I here in America but now firmly grounded in your country as well as the US and worldwide. Obesity is not just one country's issue, worldwide now. I guess Jamie Oliver saw the need in England and decided he wanted to do something about giving the children the foundation to eat wisely and perhaps thrawt off obesity further down the road. What you and I did as children is not the same as is happening now.

    April 18, 2010 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. David

    It's nice to read a comment by a person actually from this unhealthiest of towns:Huntington WV. However watching those children not even able to identify a tomato or potato was quite embarassing to me as an American, Do they think farmers grow French Fries and bottles of Ketchup? I'm glad Jamie is doing this. Maybe just maybe parents will begin by taking their own children to the grocery store and showing them th produce isle and describing what each fruit or vegetable is and what can be created from it's use.The problem is so many parents just leave the schooling of their children to the teachers. What happened to parents as teachers too?

    April 18, 2010 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Ally, Marietta, GA

    @Vicki, Marietta, GA – As someone who lives near you, I know exactly what type of person you are (several other commenters got it right). I am on the Health and Nutrition committee in our East Cobb elementary school and have to deal with parents like you on a regular basis. Who cares where Jamie is from? All that matters is that he's making a difference. Thank you, Jamie! Most of us open minded Americans appreciate your efforts and the obstacles that you have to overcome to help us be healthier.

    April 18, 2010 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Stuart

    Parents today do not know how to cook fresh food and are too lazy to even attempt it. Youth have never learned cooking skills. Nutrition and cooking used to be taught in the home and no longer are. And since when do nutritionists have the high level of proper food knowledge we think they do? They still approve of additives such as food coloring. Hire Asians to redo our food and nutrition programs; or better yet, resurrect the teachings of the generation of our great grandparents from Europe. Today's generation of medical experts in the US and Britain are plain ignorant, including Oliver (he looks a little burned out to me) and Gupta (who supports dangerous additives in medications).

    April 18, 2010 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Elizabeth

    Love, love, love everything he's doing. Let's see that the momentum to get and keep kids healthy gets stronger and stronger!

    April 18, 2010 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Katherine

    I love Jamie Olivier and am a huge supporter of his efforts. It's not easy to change your diet, baby steps help. I started eating a healthier breakfast, once I got that into that habit, I focused on lunch and then dinner. Now, I can proudly say that I am proud of everything I put in my body!

    April 18, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. SF Mary

    I'm so glad this TV show is shining a spotlight on a huge problem in this country. Luckily for us, in the San Francisco area, we have Revolution Foods, who now serves 1000 school sites after just three years in business. This model is totally replicable across the country. You can learn more about them at http://www.revolutionfoods.com

    April 18, 2010 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Pat the Librarian

    Who better to be put in charge of a nation's food lunch program than a celebrity chef, reality tv star? The UK government issued a statistical report in July of this year but you won't hear Oliver crowing about it. Only 43.9% of primary students participate in the natiional school lunch program. Only 36% of secondary students participate. -a mere increase of .1% since Oliver's menu was introduced. The percentage of Scottish Secondary students taking school lunches actually declined 10% from 49% five years ago to 39% . Of the primary kids who eat school lunches only 57% selected vegetables and of those vegetables taken over 40% wound up in the trash. Only 23% of the children took fruit and 33% of the fruit wound up in the trash.Since chocolate milk has been banned only 20% of the students are taking milk (or yogurt). This multi-million dollar attempt at governmental force feeding is a dismal failure.

    April 18, 2010 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. lovinfoodincali

    Maybe you folks all missed the part in "super size me" where they spoke of the high school for trouble students where they served all the healthy food and how wonderful their students were doing. Sadly, it takes people with a name like Jamie Oliver to go in and get people emotional before changes come. Our schools provide food for convenience for the most part as we saw when Jamie missed the number of veggies and french fries met the criteria... Come on folks!!! Let's take our health back into our own hands, prepare the best we can at home and require the best for our kids at school! Prepared from scratch doesn't mean it comes out of a box like an acquaintance once explained to me.... prepared from scratch means there aren't all those preservatives, additives and colorings. And it tastes better... I enjoy Jamie's show because it corrects me where I "get" lazy and it shows what is deemed "ok" by the government regulations. It's education and it doesn't matter what city he started in because I believe he could have gone anywhere and found the same situations in schools and at home.

    April 18, 2010 at 19:19 | 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.