Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution reality series may have been canceled, but that isn't stopping the "Naked Chef" from continuing his mission to tackle obesity and make healthy eating a global priority.
"With our Western-style diets, our biggest problems are a direct result of what the experts call 'bad feeding' — which basically means eating a load of rubbish, highly processed food that's jammed full of salt, fats, sugars, additives and cheap processed meats," The Guardian quoted Oliver as saying during the recent One Young World conference in Switzerland. "Governments around the world like it when food is cheap and shops are full, but they're achieving this by allowing big businesses to pump out this sort of food and drink in mass volumes."
The 36-year-old chef also said that obesity should be considered a human rights issue, saying that the fight against it “should be as important as the fight against AIDS and climate change."
Oliver's audience will be greatly expanded later this month when he joins a panel of nutrition and health experts during a United Nations meeting on non-communicable diseases. His aim is to make world leaders, in particular U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, "sit up and take notice" of the devastating effects of obesity around the world.
"There seems to be a trend with developing countries wanting to follow in the footsteps of the Western world and copy their patterns of fast food and consumerism [and] pre-packed convenience food is seen as a symbol of being ‘modern’ in developing countries, but the problems it causes are long-term, and costly," he said.
In the latest issue of Outside Magazine, Oliver admits that he considers himself an unlikely leader in the fight against obesity.
“I don’t actually like it. It makes me feel sick,” he says. “I have a massive and genuine belief in the American public. The stirring of the pot is very much needed. But my career’s in England. My career is being an author and a restaurateur. This is financially the worst use of my time. I think I’m an odd soldier to do this.”
Nevertheless, Oliver is ramping up his efforts and recently launched a a petition urging 1 million people to take a stand against obesity and tell food suppliers and governments to do more. Celebrities such as Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Piven, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Winslet, Orlando Bloom and many others star in a new video in support of the effort. You can lend your name (which already has more than 750,000 signatures) here!