Gordon Ramsay: 'Parents of obese children should be fined'
Last updated at 11:17am on 4th July 2007 Comments (15)
Gordon Ramsay has lashed out at parents of obese children, calling for them to be taken to court and fined.
The 40-year-old father of four believes the threat of legal action is the only way to get through to parents who let their children over-eat.
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Grodon Ramsay with his daughter, Megan, who has been teased at school about her weight
The Michelin-starred chef said: "If kids become obese and out of control, then seriously fine the parents and threaten them with a court appearance because they often don't realise what they are doing.
"If you're going to be a healthy nation then you've got to discipline the parents for having no control."
Describing the psychological suffering endured by overweight children he said: "As a nation, we've got to improve; we've got to become seriously focused on keeping it together.
"You don't want to see fat children at the age of nine being humiliated at school because they can't play rugby or they can't do the cross country run or they're feeling bad because their clothes don't fit them.
"That gives that individual an issue they'll have for the rest of their lives. It's heartbreaking and it's the parents, not the children, who are at fault."
Ramsay, whose comments appear in an interview with Men's Health magazine, admitted he was speaking from personal experience and described how his eight-year-old daughter Megan has been teased about her weight at school.
"Megan is being bullied by a girl at school at the moment because someone called her fat," he said. "She's not fat at all, she just enjoys food. But now she's got a complex about her body as an eight-year-old, which is wrong."
Ramsay also advocated using shock tactics to teach children about the dangers of junk food. "That documentary, Super Size Me, scares the hell out of my children. And you have to scare them like that to make them understand it's not good for you," he said.
Meanwhile, in the latest series of Ramsay's F Word a beauty journalist has been chosen to try to take on the mantle of legendary TV cook Fanny Cradock.
Ravinder Bhogul beat more than 2,000 rivals to win Ramsay's hunt for a new female cook.
The 28-year-old, who lives in Erith in Kent, said her parents had been nervous about letting her appear with the foul-mouthed chef.
She said: "My parents are very Indian and very traditional. My dad didn't want him to use swear words against me."
But she said Ramsay turned out to be "a lamb in wolf's clothing".