The British Health Secretary politely asked anti-obesity school lunch crusader and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to please shut his yap, as he turns out to be making things worse. Quoth Secretary Andrew Lansley at a British Medical Association meeting yesterday:
"If we are constantly lecturing people and trying to tell them what to do, we will actually find that we undermine and are counterproductive in the results that we achieve."…
"Jamie Oliver, quite rightly, was talking about trying to improve the diet of children in schools and improving school meals, but the net effect was the number of children eating school meals in many of these places didn't go up, it went down."
In a study of 27 U.K. schools offering healthy lunches, in-school lunch purchases dropped noticeably, up to 25 percent in at least one case. To his credit, Lansley also rejected suggestions that the way to force kids to eat Oliver's healthy lunches was monitor the contents of packed lunches and prohibit local shops near schools:
'Actually, where do we end up with this?', he said.