It's a Food Revolution!
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Diet Diva

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It's a Food Revolution!

Did you see Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution last Friday on ABC? If you missed it, you can watch the first two episodes here.

The gist of the show is that Jamie, a trained chef from England who single handedly changed school food in England, goes in to the most unhealthy (fattest) city in America: Huntington, WV. In the first two episodes he went into the elementary school to attempt to change the way they are eating. He also worked with one individual family with 3 kids who are all overweight and on their way to serious health problems.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Jamie buried one family's deep fat fryer in their backyard. This deep fat fryer was used at least once a day in the family's home. She made her kids homemade donuts for breakfast!
  • Jamie showed some kids how chicken nuggets are made and they still wanted to eat them.
  • In a first grade class, not one kid could tell Jamie the name of various vegetables: tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, or even a potato. They did not know that a potato was what french fries were made out of.
  • The lunch ladies were resistant to Jamie's fresh way of cooking and don't think the kids will eat that food vs the pizza and chicken nuggets and french fries they are used to.
  • The head of the school lunch made Jamie serve bread with his meal of brown rice, chicken, and salad because the USDA requirement is that there are two servings of starch required at each lunch.

It is amazing to me that we (health professionals and parents) have been talking about changing the food that is served for years. Yet one English chef comes in to do a reality show and now people are talking about it and appalled at what is happening in schools. Bravo for Ryan Secrest (Exec Producer) and Jamie Oliver for the impact they have been able to make in just these first 2 episodes.

I can't wait to see more. So far in the series Jamie has had a lot of resistance and many in the town is not happy about his presence. I can't wait to see how he turns it around. I know one episode coming up showcases super sized caskets for obese people who have died and cannot fit into a regular casket. Talk about shocking!

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution shows things about food in American homes and schools that are alarming and shocking. He is not trying to embarrass anyone or exploit anyone. He honestly cares about the health and well being of people and it is evident by how he is putting so much incredible time and effort into this town and show. I can't wait to see the outcome--both for Huntington and the ripple effect this show is bound to have!

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Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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