Jamie Oliver Dissed by UK Health Minister

Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef and outspoken advocate against childhood obesity, had little luck winning over the new UK health minister in his campaign to improve school lunches.

Photo courtesy JamieOliver.comThe UK’s new health minister recently dismissed television chef Jamie Oliver’s ongoing attempts to improve school lunches and tackle the childhood obesity epidemic by providing more nutritious options for students.

Andrew Lansley rejected Oliver’s approach, saying that the Jamie Oliver experiment had actually resulted in less children eating school meals and criticized Oliver, saying that telling people what they should eat is counterproductive.

“There is a risk if we constantly are lecturing people and trying to tell them what to do, we will actually find that we might undermine and be counterproductive in the results that we achieve,” Lansley told doctors at the British Medical Association in Brighton, southeast England.

Oliver has campaigned on television for several years against junk food in Britain’s schools and petitioned to revamp the menus offered for school lunch programs. Lansley does agree that new measures must be taken to curb the childhood obesity epidemic, but says the government has to find new ways to encourage people to take responsibility for their health.

The celebrity chef reportedly feels that the comments from Lansley show a lack of respect for the hardworking lunch ladies who work in the schools.

Jamie Oliver has been fighting an uphill battle to improve the quality of food served in Britain’s lunchrooms since 2004 and recently took his campaign to the United States, starring in a TV show on ABC called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, where he tries to get residents of Huntington, West Virginia, to make better food choices.

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