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Today is a positive day. I feel it’s really important to credit this much more holistic, multi-pronged, clearer and more convincing childhood obesity strategy. It’s not perfect, but it is underpinned by a big bold target to halve childhood obesity by 2030, and I fully support this in every way. It’s a vast improvement from the first and fills me with a sense of hope.
We must keep supporting and encouraging government to do even more and do it quickly. There are many other important levers they can pull to help the most disadvantaged communities and, of course, there are still parts of the very first strategy that haven’t been delivered on yet. A key one, that will make a profound and positive difference, is ensuring Ofsted evaluate our schools on food education and school lunches.
Doing the right thing to protect our children’s health can easily be misinterpreted as people focus on what they feel is being taken away; but this really is all about giving everyone choice and clarity, and making healthier food the easier and cheaper option. As our overburdened NHS edges towards its 70th birthday, the next generation being a healthy one will make a massive difference, and help protect its long-term future.
This could be the start of a profoundly important chapter in Britain’s history. I’m encouraged by these steps Mrs May’s government is taking and by having this target we can evolve, and with a little bit more steely ambition and swift action through the consultation process, Britain really could meet the 2030 goal and set a positive example to the rest of the world.
It’s by no means a done deal yet, though, so it’s really important that we continue to keep the pressure on government and industry, and make our voices heard throughout the consultation process. You can keep up to date with all our campaigning news
Big love, Jamie Oliver xx
Read Chapter 2 of the government’s childhood obesity plan here.