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?
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