Jaime Oliver is doing fantastic job!


November 27, 2011


May 14, 2014


There are two celebrities running around at the moment trying to make a difference. One of them is a former addict: Russell Brand, he is currently preaching a message of sobriety through abstinence to drug users. I would argue that the other celebrity engaged in a very similar mission is Jamie Oliver. Jamie Oliver is a type of “dealer” (and I am as well) and that’s a problem that needs to be acknowledged.

I genuinely admire both these guys for what they’re trying to do. I have to applaud their achievements. Few are doing more to spread a worthwhile message.

The reason why obesity is such an intractable problem is that the fight against obesity is dogged by most of the people engaged in the debate being “dealers”.

Jamie Oliver is correct: people do need the right information. There’s also a balance to be struck between telling people what they need to hear and not being so awful that you put them off listening to your message entirely and nobody changes their behaviour in a positive way.

The irony is not lost on me, that two of the three major pillars of my company Wine Rides, are food and wine, the other pillar being cycling. On wine rides weekends we do a sweet, normally something like a seasonal fruit crumble. So in many respects I am also a “dealer”. We also positively encourage people to drink wine. And I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t derive a benefit from people purchasing extra wine to take home. So sadly even the advice and comment I give on this subject is tainted by my financial relationship with the subject matter.

However, we are a relatively new entry into this market, and therefore I feel that my personal experience of struggling with weight loss for many years and finally managing to slim down and sustain a low weight, means I am compelled to talk about this subject with some sense of balance.

The truth of the matter is that you shouldn’t eat more than one sweet thing a week. That includes all puddings chocolate bars, fruit juices, Smoothies, fizzy drinks, ice cream and anything else of the like. You should only eat one of any of these items a week. That means if you have a glass of orange juice, you should not eat a sweet desert after any meal that week. When people talk about “things in moderation” they should be clear that it’s that level of moderation, which is appropriate for most people.

I know it’s a tough message, but foods that are both high in fat and sugar are addictive. How we feel about them and our impulse to eat them is not under rational control. And there are many well-meaning food producers who make wonderful, lovely and delicious sweet treats and present them to us when we are likely to make impulse purchases.

Jamie Oliver is absolutely right to call on the major supermarkets to commit to a 5% reduction in obesity over the next five years. I think that is an entirely realistic, modest and appropriate goal for government and retailers to commit to. In fact, failing to agree to such a request is in my opinion, morally abhorrent.

It is wonderfully heartening to see somebody of Jamie Oliver’s stature, making that case.


If you would like to know how I lost three stone: Click here

If you’d like to know more about effective exercise: Click here