Chef hits out over claims his efforts to improve health will not work

CLAIMS that the "Jamie Oliver approach" will not work in efforts to improve public health have been angrily dismissed by the chef.

Westminster's Health Secretary Andrew Lansley told doctors at the British Medical Association conference that lecturing people about their health could be counter-productive.

And he claimed that Oliver's project to improve school dinners had actually led to a drop in children eating the meals.

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Yesterday, Oliver accused Mr Lansley of chasing headlines and insulting dinner ladies.

The chef said Mr Lansley's comments were "an insult" to thousands of people who had worked hard to give children good meals.

The politician told doctors people needed to take responsibility for their own health, with the support of government.

"If we are constantly lecturing people and trying to tell them what to do, we will actually find that we undermine and are counterproductive in the results that we achieve," he said. Oliver's approach to school food had not had the desired effect - the number of children eating school meals had gone down instead of going up, he said, adding nothing would work unless people's behaviour changed.