So Jamie Does... Australia …

Or more specifically Ipswich, the renowned backwater to Brisbane, the capital of north eastern state of Queensland. Incredible. Hailing from beloved Brisbane myself but having resided in the UK for nei-on 6 years I like to reflect on diet in good ol’ Oz as quite healthy. There is no lack of accessible and affordable fresh fruit and veg or land to grow it in, the Aussie pride and joy, the backyard. But on my last few visits home the bf has commented on how big Australians/Brisbanites had become. I have to admit I didn’t see it myself and I guess that’s part of the problem, we see what we want to see. Now Jamie, off of Jamie Oliver, sees things differently to the point where he is bringing his Ministry of Food brand campaign to the Brisbane satellite city of Ipswich in 2011. According to the engaging little press release posted on his global site, “60 per cent of adults and 25 per cent of children in Australia are overweight or obese.” What happened Oz, when did we get fat? When did we stop going outdoors and start eating all the sugar-filled American themed junk that’s advertised on TV? I know the rest of the English speaking western world do it but they don’t all have our sunshine, wealth and freedom. Get off your arse Oz!

Further investigation revealed that other indicators of a fat nation are appearing where they simply weren’t found before such as weight loss surgery such as lap-banding. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare recently released figures showing an increase in hospital admissions involving bariatric rose from 500 in 1998 to 17,000 in 2007-2008.

Jamie’s advice, as always, is sound, and with any luck his method of personal tuition and well-meaning advice will work but only time will tell. He has certainly taken a lot of flak here in UK. I guess people don’t like being told what to do no matter how sound the advice.

Jamie’s Ministry of Food Australia is working with the Good Foundation and the Queensland State Government who have committed AUD$2.5m to the cause of bringing food education to Queenslanders over 4 years. I honestly didn’t realize we needed it and it such a shame we do. I hope it makes a difference – go Jamie!

IssuesAnne Giacomantonio