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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Eat together for improved health

30th June 2006

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver could soon front a new Department of Health campaign to encourage families to eat together more often as a key means of improving the nation’s diet.

The DH is negotiating with Sainsbury's about a joint campaign, to be fronted by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

The move would mark a controversial departure for government public health
campaigns in its tie-up with a commercial brand. A report commissioned by the health department and published yesterday argues that such partnerships should be encouraged, provided appropriate ethical guidelines are put in place.

The family meal has been highlighted as a prominent factor in social cohesion, as well as nutritional wellbeing. Surveys suggest that as few as three in 10 families now sit down to eat together more than once a week, with most of those watching television at the same time. This year, the dining table was dropped from the official basket of goods said to reflect the country's buying habits.

Sainsbury's pays the TV chef an estimated £1m a year to star in its advertisements. The proposed relationship reflects a growing trend for companies to get involved in promotion of healthy living.

It comes as research showed that over the past year spending on frozen foods had fallen almost three per cent, with sales of frozen ready meals and meat products - including the Turkey Twizzlers ridiculed by Oliver during his influential TV series on school meals - down more than eight per cent.


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