Jamie Oliver’s TED Speech on Obesity

Following yesterday’s entry, one reader commented with a link to Jamie Oliver’s TED award speech. Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of Jamie Oliver. He has some interesting things to say on the topic of childhood obesity however. If you are concerned about the topic, I encourage you to take a look at the video below.


  1. Jamie Oliver has been trying to change our thinking about foods especially in schools in UK. But sadly economics dictates and its a tough battle. This is a great watch.

    What is happening in UK with 3 for 1 offers in supermarkets is ridiculous. And in schools art and physical training being discouraged. It’s a crazy situation.

  2. Yeah Jamie is a household name in the UK. What Jamie does is great work, he’s a great talent in the industry and has some sound views on this subject.

  3. Jamie is pretty well known in the UK, did a lot with school dinners and stuff. Seems as if he genuinely cares about the future state of food.

    Something needs to be done, but we all just sit back. You can buy 1000g of biscuits for £0.78 and that’s 5500 calories. 300g of Broccoli cost me £0.88 today. All the junk food costs practically nothing there is no wonder people are drawn to it.

    It starts with education but I think a lot of the big companies are to blame for it as well. Walk in a supermarket and offers of junk are pushed into your face. It’s silly.

  4. I feel with Mark’s observation that healthy food is often ridiculously overpriced in comparison to junk food (when it comes to money per calorie). Here in Austria, the situation is a bit different, but not all too much. I still feel that fruits and vegetables are a tad too expensive in comparison to cookies and the like. This has to be changed if any reasonable achievement in the health sector has to be made.

    As for Jamie, he is well-known here in Austria as well. I have watched his efforts to change the way pupils in the United Kingdom perceive and receive food at their schools and he had a hard time – to say the least. Pupils are on the verge of losing the ability to recognize food for what it is – like you already pointed out in an earlier blog post, Ross.

    It’s important to be a role model for your own children. To me this means to cook my own food whenever possible and give them a sensible introduction to the topic of food.

    My girlfriend will soon give birth to my first child and I am compelled to raise this human being to a conscious eater who will be able to find his way in nutrition.

  5. We see him a lot on the tellie over here. He is a pionieer in what he is trying to do with schoolfood and the way we think of food.
    I like his program, and hope a lot of people will learn from it.

  6. Healthy food is too expensive? I don’t know where you all shop, but down the road from me I can buy a 10lb sack of potatoes for less than $3. For the price of one McDonalds value meal I can feed myself for a week on beans and rice. A whole chicken is just under $1 per pound. Junk food is not cheaper than real food.

  7. i’ve been a fan of jamie oliver for a long time. he always had the best food shows. i think it’s great the effort that he’s been making on this subject. bravo to him!

  8. Mark and Simon:

    Agreed, if you shop at supermarkets (a major contributor to this problem), it’s easy to see that many fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products out-price the simple easy (cop out) microwavable or frozen meals you can get down the freezer isle. However, think basic and find a green grocer; in Sainsbury, a small (maybe 250g) Fennel will set you back around £2.49. A Fennel twice as big from a local green grocer in Aylesbury cost me 69 pence (based on weight rather than a bar code).

    Jamie made this point that the super markets are partly to blame for the obesity problem (main st). But it’s because of how they operate; if you have a microwave meal that can sell for £3 and costs you 60p to make and 20p to ship, your margin is nearly 200%. If a vegatable sells for £1 and it costs 40p to cultivate and 10p to ship plus an additional 10p for shelf life issues, your margin is only 100%. Naturally the supermarkets will indirectly encourage people to opt for the cheaper ready meal by increasing the margin on the vegatable to increase profit. They want you to buy not necessarily the most expensive produce, but what will achieve them the maximum return on investment. This is also why super markets are desperate to push for GM foods that last longer on the shelf, it will mean less cost involved in stocking “fresh” fruit and veg, increasing their margins yet again.


    Supermarkets are not your friends, they want to dominate the market place and they want to get rich or enrich their shareholders.

    The green grocer just wants to earn a decent living like the rest of us.

  9. Jamie pioneered free range in the UK, most supermarkets only sell free range eggs now thanks to him and are selling more free range chicken too. Eggs and meat are so much better for you too when they don’t come from a battery farmed chicken.

  10. Rock on Jamie. He is the first person I’ve heard willing to call feeding junk to kids what it really is – child abuse.

  11. It starts with education but I think a lot of the big companies are to blame for it as well. Walk in a supermarket and offers of junk are pushed into your face. It’s silly.Rock on Jamie. He is the first person I’ve heard willing to call feeding junk to kids what it really is – child abuse.Agreed, if you shop at supermarkets (a major contributor to this problem)
    the weider x factor

  12. Jamie is a household name in the UK & Australia; pity he isn’t in the US. He has also covered the food industry in far more depth than this video demonstrates.

  13. Great Speech! Love his “In ya face” way to speak! You gotta have balls to go in another country and tell them they’re doing it all wrong but show compassion and willing to help at the same time… Jamie’s food revolution on ABC will really be great I’m sure! I watch kind of the “UK version” (Jamie’s Ministry of food) and man it was awesome! The world needs more “action dreamers” like him to change for the better.

  14. To be fair to supermarkets, they do also sell organic food which is almost impossible to get from green grocers. Some people say try farmers markets etc, but that is not always practical.

    Maybe the problem is not with the price of food but that many people just eat way too much nowadays.

  15. here in Philippines, obesity is also becoming a problem. More and more children are getting obese due to a lifestyle that is not fully of physical activities. most kids just wants to watch TV, play computer games and surf the net.

  16. I can really recommend Jamies Food Revolution. A new show about him trying to change the way people eat in the US. It’s only been three episodes but omg…what’s wrong with the people that’s running the schools in the US!!!! Pizza for breakfast, hamburger or nuggets for lunch and so on.

  17. jamie is on a mission he has made a differens with school food here in the uk some like it some donot but the mans right.!! he has change food labeing in a lot of stores here.. and is one hell of a chief … keep up the good work.

  18. Jamie Oliver is the Ministry of Food and he is heading up the campaign against obesity and diabetes. Study has proven a critical link between obesity and the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes type 2 is a lifestyle disease that is strongly associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weight gain.
    Simply put…
    To gain weight and muscle is a slow process. To gain weight and fat is a fast and dangerous process.
    Eat healthy and train hard or DIE.
    We were all at one time hunters and gatherers, now we just order in (dame the phones:).
    Australia and the rest of the world we can stay healthy.

  19. I was lucky enough to do some work with Jamie during my PHD if anyone is interested in resaerhc behind causes, reasons, and government practical applications to combat obesity then ill gladly let you read.

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