Jamie Oliver calls for annual pupil weigh-ins to combat obesity

The Sunday Times is reporting that Jamie Oliver is calling for children to be weighed in school every year as part of a strategy to protect their health.

The paper says Oliver is publishing a ‘crisis strategy’ that will also force junk food companies to reduce the sugar and fat in their products or face fines.

Oliver, it claims, has suggested that a programme to measure the height and weight of every child every year as a way of spotting early signs of obesity could be the “jewel in the crown” of a national programme to cut ill health among overweight pupils.

However, it also adds his concern that such a programme would have to be “sensitively run” in order to avoid the risk of triggering eating disorders.

In terms of food products, Oliver is recommending a limit of 250 calories for a single sweet treat and for companies to be required to meet government deadlines to cut sugar and fat levels.

He is quoted:

“Ultimately, penalties should be imposed on any food companies that fail to meet the targets,” 

“Obesity is a complex problem, but what’s most terrifying is that it’s a precursor for a whole host of diet-related diseases that are crippling our NHS and, more alarmingly, threatening the health of our future generations,” 

“I believe that in our lifetime we can shift the dial on the epidemic of childhood obesity. But in order to realise this we need a moment of change and I believe that moment is now. We need to tackle this like parents, not politicians.”

As well as repeating his call for a tax on sugary and soft drinks, Oliver wants to crack down on unhealthy packed lunches and says parents should be issued with government guidelines on how to make them healthy. packed lunches should then be monitored by teachers and need to meet the same standards as schools dinners. He also suggests teachers should be paid to eat lunch with pupils and suggests a target for free school dinners to be offered to all pupils.

More at: Jamie calls for pupil weigh-ins (subscription may be required)


What do you think of these proposals from Jamie Oliver, especially those concerning schools such as the annual weigh-in and the call for teachers to monitor all packed lunches and be paid to eat lunch with pupils?

Please give us your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…


Annual weigh-in for all pupils to health tackle obesity - good idea?


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Categories: Health, Policy and Teaching.


  1. nurseybling

    WeSchoolNurses agree!! Pressure already on CYP. More family based progs needed however will cuts in funding allow this.

  2. nancygedge

    SchoolsImprove tbh I think it might be easier to increase activity levels through longer playtimes and encouraging chn to walk to school.

  3. Sorry Jamie, but you aren’t an expert in these matters. BMI is long-since proven to be a flawed approach. The right way to monitor health and wellbeing would be with the standard fitness and physical literacy tests developed by University of Essex, so that every child’s development could be compared with the national database of thousands of existing measurements dating back a decade or more. 
    These tests should be just one aspect of a ‘whole-child’ approach, covering nutrition at home and in school, education (from pregnancy onwards and for every child and adult), play, physical activity and sports, as recommended to DfE and DH by the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood.

  4. WeSchoolNurses

    nurseybling umm! Not sure! Good for stats but not for children. May increase body size issues. Healthy not skinny. Weight only 1 aspect.

  5. spawneedave

    I was screened for eye sight, dental care, I was given immunisations etc. whilst at school as part of a public health screen. Since obesity is a growing problem (no pun intended) in this country, and since early intervention in health always has better clinical outcomes, I do not see the problem in principle. I’m not sure Jamie is best qualified, but at least he is highlighting the issue.

  6. SAPHNAsharonOBE

    nurseybling WeSchoolNurses jamieoliver Nope! The NCMP hasn’t helped reduce obesity so why would annual weight measurement of all?

  7. Mr_PaulWatson

    WeSchoolNurses SAPHNAsharonOBE nurseybling jamieoliver educate to change values,attitudes&behaviours re laziness to prep healthy foods!

  8. WeSchoolNurses

    Mr_PaulWatson SAPHNAsharonOBE nurseybling jamieoliver can parents use “busy lives” as an excuse for ready meals?

  9. Mr_PaulWatson

    WeSchoolNurses SAPHNAsharonOBE nurseybling jamieoliver use what ever they like…until attitudes change then behaviours won’t change!

  10. suehalton36

    SAPHNAsharonOBE nurseybling WeSchoolNurses jamieoliver no use weighing with no services to give advice. Need money in public health ed.

  11. HayBee1477

    SchoolsImprove schools & educationgovuk must stop sitting kids still most of day conditioning sedentary behaviour learn on the move

  12. HayBee1477

    SchoolsImprove it’s unnatural to sit kids still all day they learn better actively why are we STILL doing it! jamieoliver educationgovuk

  13. SamGeeson

    SchoolsImprove great idea so long as it is acted upon in a responsible way. I would do it at my school if I was allowed.

  14. HayBee1477

    SchoolsImprove SamGeeson mayb u canb trailblazer make enquiries? Run a trial? Like Scotlands running idea Remove chairs 4 part of day?

Let us know what you think...