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Celebrity chef launches health crusade as figures show rise in obesity

By Derek Lambie & Olga Gertcyk
06 April 2015

More than three-quarters of the population in some areas found to be overweight and now Jamie Oliver says it's time to act.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has asked for 'urgent help' in helping the 42 million children under the age of five that are either overweight or obese worldwide. Picture: Jamie Oliver

Siberians are being urged to back a major crusade against global obesity as figures show as much as 77 per cent of the population in some areas is overweight.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has asked for 'urgent help' in helping the 42 million children under the age of five that are either overweight or obese worldwide.

He wants people back his petition to demand better food education in schools with a warning that 'the next generation will live shorter lives than their parents if nothing is done'.

The plea comes as Rospotrebnadzor – the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing – sounds the alarm over the level of obesity in Russia, and particularly in Siberia.

Obesity in Siberia


Obesity in Siberia

Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing – sounds the alarm over the level of obesity in Russia, and particularly in Siberia. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Figures show that it is higher in many Siberian regions than the average rate in Russia, as much as 1.5 times higher in the Altai Republic and the Nenetsky Autonomous Okrug.

In the Krasnoyarsk region it was found that 76.9 per cent of the adult population was obese, as were 16.2 per cent of children and 6.9 per cent of teenagers. And the prevalence of obesity among teenagers in the Irkutsk region has almost trebled over the past seven years, and nearly doubled in adults and children.

According to the World Health Organization, a third of boys and one in five girls aged 11 year old are overweight in Russia.

Experts say that the unbalanced diet in recent years has left people in danger of developing diabetes.

Research has found that half of people in Russia do not eat enough proteins and two-thirds do not consume enough fruit and vegetables. More importantly 95 per cent of the population was found to consume too much fat.

Obesity in Siberia


Obesity in Siberia

'Siberia has never been rich with fruit and vegetables because of the climate. And even if there was enough of them, it's not the right food for cold winters.' Pictures: Kate Baklitskaya

Explaining the poor diet, expert Dr Anna Demidenko said: 'Siberia has never been rich with fruit and vegetables because of the climate. And even if there was enough of them, it's not the right food for cold winters, especially if we are to talk about the territories in the extreme north of Siberia.

'Long story short, Siberia’s food is meat, milk and carbs and at the same time extremely low amount of vitamins and microelements.'

Ethnographic researcher Vladimir Gubenko said: 'There is a saying in Siberia 'If a deer is alive, then a man is alive'. For some northerners deer meat is fundamental. For residents of southern Siberia it is mutton and sometimes horse meat.'

In his online appeal Jamie Oliver – whose range of foods including pasta is available in Siberia – describes the global obesity epidemic as 'alarming'.

Jamie Oliver


Jamie Oliver


Jamie Oliver

In his online appeal Jamie Oliver – whose range of foods including pasta is available in Siberia – describes the global obesity epidemic as 'alarming'. Pictures: Jamie Oliver, The Siberian Times

He adds: 'Please sign this petition to show your support for compulsory practical food education in schools across the world, then, most importantly, share it via your social networks.

'It's essential that we arm future generations with the life skills they urgently need in order to lead healthier, happier, more productive lives. I passionately believe this is every child’s human right and I hope you agree.

'If you can help me get millions of people to sign this petition, we can create a movement powerful enough to force all G20 governments to take action.'

He added: 'Food education will make a difference to the lives of the next generations, so please help. I can’t do it without you.'

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