The BIG urgency

Let's take action

© Andrew Montgomery

It's time to wake up to the alarming increase of diet-related illnesses worldwide. There are no shortcuts and we have a big job ahead of us to make people recognise the seriousness of this epidemic. Jamie Oliver's Kitchen Garden Project aims to create real, sustainable change, and it's as simple as providing kids with the knowledge and skills to feed themselves better. We strongly believe that educating kids about food at a young age will set them up for life. What's more, we can make sure it forms part of their core curriculum at the same time as being engaging and fun.

Here are some health facts that are pretty hard to swallow:

  • FACT: The UK has one of the highest child obesity rates in Europe.
  • FACT: By the age of five, one-fifth of children in the UK are already overweight or obese.
  • FACT: By the age of 11, this figure increases to one-third.
  • FACT: 78.5% of children, aged 5 to 15, fail to consume the recommended five portions of fruit and veg per day.
  • But the good news is that diet-related diseases are both reversible and preventable:

  • FACT: Children who plant their own fruit and vegetables are more likely to eat them.
  • FACT: Kids who learn to cook have better diets, and are more aware of the importance of making healthier choices.
  • FACT: Food growing in schools helps to boost achievement levels across the curriculum, particularly in science, maths, food technology and languages.
  • FACT: Kids who eat healthy lunches perform better at school and are less likely to take days off.
  • FACT: Children's motivation and behaviour is influenced by food growing in schools, leading to improved behaviour in and out of the classroom and increased enthusiasm towards school and learning.

A little help goes a long way

It's time to act ourselves, and recruit like-minded organisations, individuals and schools to join us. This is a food movement of national and local businesses, of parents, teachers, governors and kids, all getting involved and making real change for generations to come. As Jamie says, "It's about setting kids up for life." And now is the time to act.