Jamie piles on the pounds

Jamie Oliver, the exponent of healthy eating for kids, doesn’t seem to be practising what he preaches, judging by his somewhat tubby appearance. He bridled when questioned about it while launching a campaign for healthy eating in Australia.

After he had delivered his spiel promoting his Ministry of Food, a female journalist asked the celebrity chef if he had put on a few pounds. A riled Oliver replied, "Thank you for noticing, you bitch."

Oliver has spent a lot of time campaigning against obesity in schools and encouraging healthy eating, so the paunch and the wobbly jowls are something of an embarrassment. He got defensive about the issue.

"Working in the food business is quite hard when someone's constantly asking you to try things," he said. "I eat fresh, I train twice a week. I could do better but I'm trying my best."

His publicist made the claim that, "I can say for a fact he hasn’t gained any weight. They were bad pictures." Although that rather flies in the face of the adage that the camera never lies.

Oliver is a soft target for the jibes because of his delight in lecturing people about healthy eating. Marco Pierre White recently described Oliver as "a fat chef with a drum kit" and suggested that the school dinners campaign was "just a cheap stunt to get publicity for himself."

Consistency of message has rarely been Oliver’s strongpoint. This was the chef who used to talk about the importance of fresh, local ingredients, while fronting an advertising campaign for a supermarket chain.

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