Belfast Telegraph

Oliver in food education petition

Jamie Oliver is launching a global petition calling for all children to be given food education.

The TV chef said it was "shocking" that worldwide obesity has doubled since 1980 and action needs to be taken to deal with the problem.

The petition, which is running on the website, urges the governments of G20 countries - which includes the UK - to give youngsters practical food education in schools.

Written by Oliver, the petition says: "I urgently need your help to make a real difference.

"We're currently facing a global obesity epidemic, with 42 million children under the age of five either overweight or obese across the world.

"The bottom line is the next generation will live shorter lives than their parents if nothing is done to rectify these alarming stats.

"So I'm asking that you to do two simple things - first, please sign this petition to show your support for compulsory practical food education in schools across the world, then, most importantly, share it via your social networks.

"It's essential that we arm future generations with the life skills they urgently need in order to lead healthier, happier, more productive lives.

"I passionately believe this is every child's human right and I hope you agree.

"If you can help me get millions of people to sign this petition, we can create a movement powerful enough to force all G20 governments to take action.

"Food education will make a difference to the lives of the next generations, so please help us. We can't do it without you."

Oliver, who led a campaign around 10 years ago to improve school dinners in the UK, said real change was beginning to be seen in some countries with cooking lessons in schools.

Practical cookery lessons are now compulsory for schoolchildren in England up to the age of 14.

But he added: "According to the World Health Organisation, 42 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese around the world in 2013 and, worldwide, obesity has more than doubled since 1980. These figures are shocking and we need everyone - governments, businesses, families - to do something about it.

"Obesity more often than not leads to diet-related diseases like type-2 diabetes which can lead to amputations, blindness and, in some cases, an early death.

"But obesity is preventable and I believe that by educating our children about food and where it comes from and how to cook it and how to shop, we can turn the tide on the obesity epidemic that affects most of the world in 2015.

"This petition is a way to give a voice to everyone who cares about the future health of our children."

The petition has been launched ahead of Food Revolution Day, an initiative spearheaded by the TV chef, which takes place on May 15.


From Belfast Telegraph