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Jamie Oliver criticises parents for kids' ‘disgraceful' packed lunches

08 September 2006

Jamie Oliver has called on the Government to take the lead in the battle against childhood obesity and give teachers the power to confiscate junk food at the school gates.

Speaking at a preview to his new TV show Jamie's Return to School Dinners, Oliver said headteachers were too frightened of some parents to tell them what they should be giving their child to bring to school.

He launched a fierce diatribe against parents who feed their children "junk", suggesting that 70% of packed lunches given to schoolchildren were "disgraceful" and that he would like to see them banned.

In the programme, Oliver said: "I've spent two years being PC about parents, now is the time to say, ‘If you're giving your young children fizzy drinks you're an arsehole, you're a tosser. If you give them bags of crisps you're an idiot. If you aren't cooking them a hot meal, sort it out.' If they truly care they've got to take control.

"I have seen kids of the ages of four or five, the same age as mine, open their lunchbox and inside is a cold, half-eaten McDonald's, multiple packets of crisps and a can of Red Bull. We laugh and then want to cry."

Oliver also expressed disappointment at the Government's announcement this week that voluntary cookery lessons will be provided for secondary pupils, arguing that only compulsory classes would be effective.

Separately, it has emerged that Oliver wants to make his new restaurant more eco-friendly by installing wind turbines.

He has applied to put two turbines on the roof of Fifteen in Watergate Bay, near Newquay, Cornwall.

By harnessing the wind, Oliver hopes to halve the power consumption in his restaurant.

Government pledges £240m more for school meals >>

Parents ‘a threat' to healthy eating in schools >>

Jamie Oliver forces Sodexho to rethink plans for education >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas](mailto:daniel.thomas@rbi.co.uk?subject=INSERT HEADLINE HERE) here.

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