Jamie Oliver Rages against 'Crime' of Junk-Food Diets
Cassidy, Sarah, The Independent (London, England)
The television chef Jamie Oliver has fiercely criticised parents who feed their children "junk", describing some youngsters' diets as a crime.
He said 70 per cent of packed lunches given to schoolchildren were "disgraceful" and he would like to see them banned.
Oliver said headteachers were too frightened of some parents to tell them what they should be giving their child to bring to school. He called on the Government to take the lead and give teachers the power to confiscate junk food at the school gates, because schools lacked the confidence to take such radical steps on their own.
He expressed disappointment at the Government's announcement this week that voluntary cookery lessons will be provided for secondary pupils arguing that only compulsory classes would be effective.
Oliver criticises parents in his new television show Jamie's Return to School Dinners, the follow-up to his successful Channel 4 series on improving school meals.
In the programme Oliver says: "I've spent two years being PC about parents, now is the time to say, 'If you're giving your young children fizzy drinks you're an arse-hole, you're a tosser. If you give them bags of crisps you're an idiot. If you aren't cooking them a hot meal, sort it out' If they truly care they've got to take control."
Speaking after a preview screening of the new programme, Oliver said: "I have seen kids of the ages of four or five, the same age as mine, open their lunchbox and inside is a cold, half-eaten McDonald's, multiple packets of crisps and a can of Red Bull. We laugh and then want to cry.
"I have no doubts that these parents love their children," he said. But he added that if a teacher told a parent that their child tended to get very tired at the end of the day, it was wrong 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". …