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'Jamie Oliver-approach' on health rejected

1st July 2010

Health secretary Andrew Lansley and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver have clashed over tackling public health problems.

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Mr Lansley told the British Medical Association conference in Brighton that the Jamie Oliver-approach would not work in tackling public health problems like obesity and smoking and that there needed to be an evidence-based approach with people taking responsibility for their own health.

However, the TV chef rejected the health secretary’s comments and said: “I'm not encouraged by the news that the new health minister has summed up eight years of hard work in a few lines for the sake of a headline.

“Any problems that we've been having in school meals is more often than not down to continuing lack of funds for training of school catering staff.”

Earlier, Mr Lansley had said it was time to move away from hectoring people to lead healthier lives.

"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", said the health secretary, who has pledged to rename the Department of Health the Department of Public Health.

He said that Jamie Oliver was right to talk about improving 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", he said.

Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, said Mr Lansley's comments about the TV chef's campaign were unfair.

 

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