Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver is currently in the process of opening up his latest restaurant on King Street, Manchester but local leaders are more interested in using his appearance to help fight the war against childhood obesity. The Jamie Oliver school dinner series broadcasted in 2005 was met with much acclaim and city council is hoping that his success in other regions in Britain can be repeated in Manchester.
Manchester currently has an above-average obesity rate and the council wants to grasp the opportunity of Jamie being in town to spearhead local campaigns on healthy eating. Manchester’s new healthy eating drive aims to encourage nutritious eating in schools and aims to make children and families aware of their food choices, whether food is delivered from a freezer van or selected at a farmer’s market. Due to the success of his school dinner campaign, Jamie Oliver is the perfect figure to get the campaign rolling and city council has already contacted Jamie’s team to assist in the production of a community healthy eating project, which will also educate youth about weight management and the dangers of smoking.
Two years ago the effectiveness of Jamie Oliver’s school dinner series was monitored in a study, which found that the healthier school dinners introduced by the chef had significantly improved the test results of pupils. Another noted benefit in the Jamie Oliver school dinner study was the reduction of absenteeism in participating schools. ‘Authorised absences’, which are largely the result of illness, decreased by an incredible 15%. The results show that not only does the Jamie Oliver school dinner recipes improve health but also concentration. The Manchester city council are delighted with the prospect of working with Jamie Oliver and hope to device a healthy and sustainable eating drive with schools, families, chilled couriers, community leaders and food retailers.