Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Is Jamie Oliver making us fat?



I already blogged about the first study claiming that celebrity chefs are fuelling the obesity epidemic with their calorie and saturated fat laden cookbooks. Now that another study, supporting these findings, has been published I felt compelled to add a little bit more ranting.

Yes, many recipes in celebrity chefs’ cookbooks are not exactly healthy. Does that mean that they’re driving the obesity epidemic, no. How many people do you think are regularly consuming meals that they’ve prepared using recipes in these cookbooks? Probably not many. And, how many of these people are obese? We don’t know the answer to this question. It’s foolish to extrapolate from the findings to state that celebrity chefs’ cookbooks are making people fat. It’s far more likely that a lack of home-cooked meals is contributing to the obesity epidemic.

I’d also like to point out that people do have the ability, and sometimes the wherewithal, to modify recipes that they prepare from cookbooks. Yes, we are capable of using less oil and butter, of not adding salt, of bumping-up the vegetable content, etc. Go ahead, use Jamie Oliver’s cookbook and just tweak the recipe to optimize its nutrition.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

5 thoughts on “Is Jamie Oliver making us fat?

  1. Preach, lady. I’d be interested in reading the original study. SO often, the media has no idea how to interpret research and makes huge statements about a study that the data just don’t support. I wonder if it was the study’s authors who made this claim or if they noted the limitations of their study in the article but the media didn’t pick up on it.


  2. Well said. People all these grandiose ‘studies’ that will sell newspapers, don’t they? Learning to cook is probably the best thing people can do to curb this epidemic.


  3. While I agree with you that people can choose to modify the recipes to make them healthier and the true issue is that most people don’t cook at home, I think there should be an attempt to make the recipes healthier and simpler. A lot of people don’t cook because it’s hard to get started and a lot of people take a certain level of knowledge for granted, and for a long time cooks might be afraid to deviate from the given recipe at all.


  4. Though his recipes might not always be the healthiest, I just wanted to point out that Jamie has been an advocate for decreasing obesity rates through his “Food Revolution” project/series of TV shows and cookbooks. I can appreciate the fact that he has at least realized the significance of the obesity epidemic and has been in active work to try and fix it. Someone like Paula Deen, on the other hand…


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