Focus Inner Circle
02/01/2020

Jamie Oliver takes aim at childhood obesity

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British star chef and TV personality Jamie Oliver has sold 45 million cookbooks worldwide, declared war on sugar and revolutionised school meals in the UK. At an evening event in Berlin recently, he discussed his next ambitious project: to halve childhood obesity in Britain by 2030.

The invite-only event was hosted by Focus magazine as part of its Inner Circle series, which seeks to bring together “people who change the world, people who move the world”, according to the magazine’s Strategy Director, Sebastian Doedens.

Over the course of the evening, Jamie discussed some of his personal highlights since he burst onto the UK food scene 20 years ago as the ‘Naked Chef’, promoting an informal, passionate approach to cooking and eating. In addition to founding a nationwide restaurant chain, he’s launched various healthy nutrition campaigns, including successfully getting a “sugar tax” imposed on soft drinks.

Good food: the preserve of the posh?

Now, he wants to double down on efforts to improve the diet of British youngsters, by tackling both political inertia as well as lingering perceptions (in some quarters) that healthy eating is the “preserve of the posh”.

“[Just 15 years ago] the British government had very explicit, complex laws on dog food, and nothing on kids’ [school dinners],” he said at the event, held in Berlin’s The Grand restaurant for around 120 guests from politics, business and lifestyle spheres. “It is not acceptable for our politicians to be more interested in the health of our dogs than in the health of our children."

Creating a new awareness for healthy nutrition

The live interview with Jamie Oliver was conducted by Jörg Harlan Rohleder, Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Focus magazine. "If we teach people how to eat better, we can really make a difference in the world," said Rohleder afterwards. "It is about creating a new awareness for healthy nutrition. We are happy to give these and other exciting future topics a platform with the Focus Inner Circle."

The future of food is an important topic at Burda: the company’s strong food brands, numerous initiatives and events draw attention to the consequences that the food we eat has for the environment and our health. Moreover, Burda’s international innovation and conference platform DLD provides an outlook on the future of sustainable nutrition, and regularly discusses the latest food trends.

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Jamie Oliver in conversation with Jörg Harlan Rohleder, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Focus magazine © Benjamin Zibner

Sebastian Doedens, Focus Strategy Director, speaks to the crowd in Berlin © Benjamin Zibner

The British chef discussed his career highlights (so far), and his latest campaign – to cut childhood obesity © Jens Oellermann

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