Celebrity Chefs Take on Children’s Health

April 09, 2010

Celebrity chefs are latching onto a trend that’s bigger than even their own names –

Celebrity chefs are latching onto a trend that’s bigger than even their own names – bigger than their shows, books, restaurants and other enterprises. We’re talking about the White House’s push for better children’s health, and the momentum celebrities hope to ride to levels of even greater public acceptance.

At The Lempert Report, we appreciate that star power could help kick-start this message where others have failed. Yet we also see that this is an easy, non-controversial position to take, one that could help burnish celebrities’ images, and earn them new converts for their public stance.

This is fine, if everyone wins. Our own Phil Lempert told The Associated Press, “They’re digging down to more substance, which is great because we all win. Before it was cleavage and being cute to get noticed. Now it’s all about substance, nutrition.”

So much the better if Jamie Oliver gets his way and brings fresher, from-scratch food into the Huntington, WVA, school system. If Paula Deen teaches eating healthy as well as southern-fried. If Rachael Ray continues to design healthy recipes for the New York City school lunch program. And especially if the public uptakes these initiatives to make significant change where they live and turn the tide on America’s youth obesity problem.

This won’t be easy because basically much of a nation has to reorient its thinking towards food. But we believe the movement will be more forceful and more effective if these very same celebrity chefs point the cameras at their own restaurants – and show healthier choices on their menus with more fresh, local ingredients and less sodium, fats, calories and sugars. Voices with substance are so much stronger.