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Overweight Americans say no to Jamie Oliver

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 20th 2010 4:02PM
Jamie OliverAccording to statistics, over half the people who live in Hungtington, WV are officially obese. But that doesn't mean they want to eat better.

British chef Jamie Oliver has a new series for ABC starting in March titled Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, and as part of the show Oliver wanted to help the people of Huntington eat healthier and lose weight. The people had other plans. They said no to his help, which actually caused Oliver to cry. One radio person in the area actually said "we don't want to sit around and eat lettuce all day," which I'm sure is exactly what Oliver was proposing.

I'd love to hear the complete story about this. Was Oliver really pushed away from the town with pitchforks and torches, or did they simply not want to participate in the show? And did schoolkids really think that potatoes were tomatoes??

You know what I had for dinner last night? Nachos.

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The video promo of the show was just released. And all I can say is "Wow!". I live in the town next to Huntington so this hits close to home. It's no wonder WVians have a history of not trusting outsiders. Once again someone from somewhere else came in, made promises and broke them. Jamie and staff met with the governor and the state dept. of child nutrition and assured them that the show would keep to the federal standards of child nutrition. These standards are developed with input from the American Academy of Pediatrics and they involve calculation and analysis of calorie, sugar and fat content appropriate for children in a week's time. ("kids need X calories during the course of a week"). Jamie did not stick to the guidelines or the school food service budget and made the cooks look like stubborn hicks for insisting that they feed what is required of both federal/state standards and the budget. They manipulated people and knew how to bait them and brought out every stereotype we are saddled with. Great TV, huh? When the whole thing is aired I think those WVians who supported him will not be pleased at the reality show train wreck it turns out to be. Wonder how many other cities will want to welcome him to their city.

January 27 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to christy's comment

You make a great argument - one little problem with it though..... If the WVians are maintaing such great nutritional standards and the federal regulators are doing such an awesome job in setting them, why do you think you have the highest rate of obesity in the country and why does this country have the highest obesity rate in the world? Maybe you might want to listen "people from somewhere else" who are trying to help you. Just maybe they may know something that you don't.

March 22 2010 at 11:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Poor Oliver, he's going to be crying like a baby during this show.

January 21 2010 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to izikavazo's comment

The exaggeration doesn't serve your point well. Where are you shopping those two stalks of Broccoli cost $3 fitty? If folks can buy fresh and local veg when it's on sale, it only takes a few minutes to flash-boil what can't be eaten just then, freeze it, ready to go later.

The point is, spending time to think about what's in your food and preparing it is what has changed. The price we pay to avoid cooking is a shortened life. Fast food, cans, processed convenience boxed stuff tons of fat, salt chemical preservatives that have been linked to cancer.

It's a new way of looking at the things in life you can control...We feed ourselves! Kids are at our mercy. Fresh veggies taste so much better than mushy canned. If that's all a kid or adult has tasted, no wonder they don't want to eat them. No need to be defensive about this. Food prep can be fun, a time when people can come together, hang out and create yummy food. Also, once you get the hang of it, re-heating Tv dinner type food or mixing up a boxed meal thing will take just as actually making your own...and less expensive.

March 27 2010 at 3:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The problem is not about canned vs. fresh vegetables. Canned vegetables may not have the "freshness" value, but they have at least (if not more so, depending on how quickly the fresh vegetables went from farm to table) the nutritional value of fresh.

The problem is canned vegetables vs. spaghettios.

March 27 2010 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sid arthur

Its actually not cheaper to feed your family less expensive high caloric diets on the long term with regards to the health implications of obesity, heart disease, diabetes.

January 21 2010 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sid arthur's comment

When you have less than 60. a week to purchase groceries,laundry & cleaning supplies and basic toiletries( TP,toothpaste ,soap,shampoo) You don't look at the "big picture".
You look at what can I feed them this week that will keep them alive now?
So, Mac n cheese at .90 a box, cheap chicken dogs, spaghetti , and hamburger helper (it'll stretch 1lb of meat to feed five people one small serving.) are your best friends.
I can't stand when holier than thou-think they're nutritionists , that have enough of a budget to have fresh greens with every meal( 4 cans of veg-1.00 if you are lucky vs. a couple stalks of broccoli - 3.50 guess which one poor people choose?) start running their mouths about things they know nothing of.

January 23 2010 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jean frank

(I live in the southern part of Virginia, where a lot of layoffs/companies have closed) When I saw this article the first thing I thought: Here is someone who has enough money to eat all the right things. A lot of the so called bad things to eat are also the cheaper and more filling of the food choices. If I had to choose between sending my family to bed full AND being able to feed them again tomorrow, which group of foods would I choose? That's life.

January 20 2010 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jax Maxton

The concern by the good people of Huntington was that the show was there to show the city and its residents in a poor light. West Virginia does not exactly have a sparkling reputation in the national spotlight and they are wary anytime someone comes with cameras claiming to help. I can't really blame them.

January 20 2010 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nobody can convince me that West Virginians don't know what a tomato is. I'm from them thar hills and maters and taters are a favorite summer dish. Usually with some pole beans on the side.

January 20 2010 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I live in a city close to Huntington, WV (not VA) and NO they did not run Mr. Oliver out of town. Yes, they were concerned over how he would show them on TV and what he'd say about them. But he was able to finish his show and appeared to have left on good terms. By this article it looks like the city might have been correct in being a bit concerned over what he'd say.

January 20 2010 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

Huntington, Virginia (VA) is a neighborhood of Newport News, on the Chesapeake Bay in the east. The city referred to in the piece is actually Huntington *West* Virginia (WV), a vastly different town about as far west as you can go before entering Kentucky--the home of Marshall University of 'We Are Marshall' fame.

January 20 2010 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The premise of the show is that he teaches a small group of people (i thing there were 12 in the UK version) and they have to pass it on to all their friends and nieghbors. I watched the UK version of that show, and it appeared that it took him a long time to get buy-in by the community in the English town he was in. He was on the verge of tears then too. This might just be publicity for the show, or he just could not get enough of a buy-in. it would be interesting to see if they actually air the show.

January 20 2010 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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