Saturday, September 09, 2006

Know-all British chef fails to convince the kids: "Eighteen months after successfully campaigning for healthier school meals, the celebrity chef finds in his new programme that the national take-up of school dinners has fallen by 2 per cent. Instead, children are eating more packed lunches - most bursting with crisps, biscuits and fizzy drinks. The answer, says Oliver, is clear. Parents must stop sending their children to school with junk food. Although many parents work, he also urges them to cook a Sunday roast or breakfast once a week. "I've spent two years being PC about parents, but now is the time to say, `If you're giving your young children fizzy drinks you're an a*******, you are a t*****. If you give them bags of crisps you're an idiot,' " he tells viewers. Oliver says he would like there to be a ban on all packed lunches but does not expect to see that happen. While they exist, however, he says parents could make them healthier. "I have seen kids of the ages of 4 or 5, the same age as mine, open their lunchbox and inside is a cold, half-eaten Mc- Donald's, multiple packets of crisps and a can of Red Bull. We laugh and then want to cry," he said after the screening. He said that if a teacher told parents that their child was very tired at the end of the day, it was wrong for parents to think the solution was a can of Red Bull because "it gives you wings". "You might as well give them a line of coke," he argued. By the end of the documentary, Oliver has extracted a further 240 million pounds until 2011 from Tony Blair, a voluntary ban on junk food advertising for children, which he denounces as "a bit wet", and a commitment for a kitchen- rebuilding fund."

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