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Let The Revolution Begin!

A revolution has begun amongst those of us who are health and fitness advocates, and celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver is leading the way with his new ABC Show called “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”.
Admittedly, I don’t watch television.  However, I do feel that this is quality television that is worth my time and everyone else’s time to be watching. For those of you who have been asleep about the obesity epidemic amongst adults and children, this show certainly is a wake up call to our nation.
The premiere episode takes place in Huntington, WV, which is reported to be the unhealthiest city in America.  Jamie is on a mission to help educate the town about how their poor lifestyle choices are affecting the town’s health, and the importance of eating a healthy diet and how to prepare healthy meals.
The Revolution is met with resistance
Jamie is not received very well in the town.  In fact, he is met with a lot of resistance; basically viewing him as if he were their enemy.  It’s so sad to see a town that already knows that their poor lifestyle habits have placed them on the map as “the unhealthiest city in America” have this kind of reaction.  I couldn’t help but ask myself why are these people so reluctant to change and improve their health?  Why do they look at Jamie Oliver as their enemy?  Why are they being so resistant?
Hate to say this, but Huntington, WV is just like any other city in America.  People are resistant to change.  It’s hard and it takes work.  People know they shouldn’t be eating the junk they eat and yet continue doing so despite any current health problems or health risks.
Jamie, who has an abundance of resources at his disposal, certainly is fighting an uphill battle with the people of Huntington.  Watching the walls and red tape that he encounters and his charge to lead the way to overcome those obstacles is inspiring to someone like me who is trying to help spread the same message.
The Edwards Family
One subject that the show touches on, but not in much depth is child obesity.  Jamie befriends The Edwards Family and meets their teenage son, Justin.  Justin and Jamie bond immediately as Justin sees Jamie as someone who can help him and wants help.  Justin confides to Jamie that he’s tired of being heavy and bullied by the other kids at school about his weight.  If you watch closely enough to the episode, it is very clear that overweight kids know they are overweight and desperately want help.  They want to learn how to improve their health and lose weight.
Jamie shows the Edwards family just how unhealthy the foods they eat are.  The mother of the family, Stacie Edwards, becomes tearful and emotional when she becomes aware that what she is feeding her family has no nutritional value and that she is putting their health and their future at risk.  Jamie buys them a week’s worth of healthy groceries, teaches them how to cook and provides them with healthy recipies they can cook.  Unfortunately, when Jamie returns to visit the family a week later, he is suspicious that they went back to their unhealthy eating habits.
School Lunches
The school nutritional regulations are atrocious and make no sense.  The schools feed the kids the most unhealthy, processed foods.  Making the switch over to feeding the children more healthy and nutritious meals shockingly doesn’t meet school nutritional guidelines.  The red tape and regulations are killing our kids.  The sad truth is that for many kids, the only meal they get is their school lunch.  I guess that explains why kids will eat something they know is gross and bad for them, simply because they are hungry.
Getting kids to eat healthier is not impossible, however, as Jamie experienced, you really need to get the parents and schools on the same page about nutrition as ultimately, we are the ones feeding our children and teaching them about foods, nutrition and health.
Visit Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution site and join the revolution! http://www.jamieoliver.com/
To get an idea of what kids are being fed in schools, check out this clip from the show.

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