Jamie Oliver had a splash in the Guardian this week bemoaning the quality of our children's diets. "Tell me," he says in an interview, "Tell me, Mr Gove, Mr Lansley [the health secretary], two out of five kids are obese, how you plan to change that?"
Of course he's right, he's on the side of the angels, he may even be a saint, how can anyone question what Jamie says?
Well I do.
Here's a simple thought. When I was growing up in the 70's in Gateshead we ate rubbish. No day was complete without chips more often than not on fried bread. Food was cooked in lard. We ran down to the sweet shop to gorge on the additive-filled fizzy sweets and sticky drinks.
And, you know what's coming next, no one I knew was fat. Kids getting fat has got very little to do with how much they eat or even what they eat. So that's where lovely Jamie is wrong. If you're worried about obesity you shouldn't worry about a vending machine full of fizzy drinks.
But he's not just wrong he's dangerous. What he wants to do, what he has succeeded in doing to some extent, is making little kids very aware of what they are eating. He's made them aware of their diet. He's asking them, and us as parents, to restrict their diet, to watch what they eat. Everything they put in their mouths is now called 'good' or 'bad'. How many times I've had to tell my kids there are no such things as 'bad food' or 'good foods'. I've had kids come round to my house, five year olds, who won't eat chips - 'they're bad for me', or popcorn, 'it's got salt in it'.
By making these kids aware of what they eat and putting them on a restricted diet, he's effectively setting them on a lifetime of weight watching. Once that innocence is lost you can't regain it, once you start worrying about what you are eating you are heading for a lifetime of worry. And here's another simple thought.
Of the people you know, let me make a bet that it's the ones with weight problems who are always watching their weight. The skinny ones don't bother, and the cause and effect goes from diet to weight problem not the other way around. Get a person to obsess about their diet and they will end up with a weight problem.
So not only is Jamie wrong, by getting kids to worry about their weights, worry about every morsel that passes their lips, he's setting them up for a lifetime of misery, calorie counting and obesity.
Instead of this negative message, of denying kids sweets, fizzy drinks of banning vending machines, of more paranoia and scare stories aimed at parents, why not focus on a positive message?
If you look at what has changed since the 1970's it's not our kids' food intake, it's their activity levels. Small kids are literally tied up - tied in their prams and in car seats for most of their waking hours. Older kids are sitting slack-jawed in front of a TV or computer screen for hours and hours at a time.
A campaign to get kids out and playing would really be something to get excited about. Not only does it keep them slim it gets them fit. Children playing out are also learning vital skills of negotiation and self-reliance. Kids who are climbing trees and running down the street are learning who they are and what their bodies can do. Oh and yes, they're having fun too - much more fun than a restricted diet of organic tofu.