Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has spoken out against children's school desks, saying that children should instead stand up in the classroom. This, he believes, is an ideal way to combat obesity. Whilst in the past, the advice for children has often been to sit down, keep still and be quiet, this advice might not be as advisable for a child's wellbeing as was once thought.
The TV personality has approached No.10 yet again, after criticising the attempts made by the government last year to fight the obesity epidemic in this country. When commenting on the 'war on obesity' strategy that the government published last summer, Oliver said that it wasn't good enough and that it was a sign that the government "don’t care”. Oliver has also said that sitting down for such long periods of time is bad for children's backs as well as their waistlines. A few schools in the UK have already tried out the sit stand desks; Kewstoke Primary in Somerset purchased three last year.
People taking a stand -Oliver isn't the only one who has approached No.10 with this idea, as a group of campaigners have been calling for the implementation of stand-up school desks in schools around Britain. Their aim is to make this into a new government strategy to tackle obesity. There are also a number of other TV chefs, health experts and MP's involved in this group, including BBC1's Dr Rangan Chatterjee from Doctor in the house and Hugh Fearnley, a TV chef.
Sitting on our laurels won't stop obesity - The problem seems to be a lot bigger than just the desks, as school-aged children are regular consumers of sugary, caffeinated energy drinks, which Chatterjee argues should be regulated along with the use of stand up desks. Chatterjee has made a case for energy drinks sales to be limited to people over the age of 16. The doctor and father of two does seem genuine in his concern, saying “I want to see standing desks in schools as normal. I also want to encourage children to squat rather than sit."
Oliver has stated that he's “gobsmacked” by the positive out-pour he's received after his call for tougher measures, saying “I’ve been amazed by how positive the reactions from the public have been. It’s brilliant that Waitrose led the way by announcing a ban on energy drink sales to children.”