The FT’s Richard Tomkins likes to take a controversial stand. This week he attacks Jamie Oliver and the accompanying brouhaha about school meals. Tomkins has laid into the organic food movement before now and likes to cultivate an image of cynical superiority to what goes on around him.

Today he dismisses that calorie intake matters and that the problem causing childhood obesity is a lack of exercise. Lack of exercise is an issue, but the two must go together. If calories consumed does not equal calories burned, weight gain results. Creating a calorie deficit to cause weight loss is not so easy, and the junkier the diet, the harder it is to achieve. Those whose behaviour in relation to food is most vulnerable will find it all the more difficult.

Furthermore, Oliver’s campaign is not just about calories and obesity. Clear evidence emerges that junk food influences behaviour and can have knock-on effects on other aspects of health. Try explaining the observation that the use of asthmatic inhalers dropped to zero after lunch in one school following the introduction of Jamie Oliver’s menus. Exercise also contributes to improved behaviour. But the role of a high sugar, salt, fatty and additive intense diet in negative behaviour and poor levels of concentration is fundamental to what Oliver is trying to tackle. It is not some cynical attempt to feather his own nest, as Tomkins suggests.

Perhaps the writer needs to change his own diet to get a better perspective on his subjects. Not least because achieving performance in business and investment is about modifying behaviour. The behavioural lessons from Oliver’s diet experiment have a lot more to do with short and long-term commercial performance than anyone has yet noted.

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