Americans ingest too much processed food that is high in calories, fat, sugar and salt and it’s killing us. But just knowing that the fast food is killing us isn’t enough to change our eating habits. When death itself isn’t enough of a motivator, exactly how do you convince people to change what they eat, I wondered, and what can Jamie Oliver’s fight teach us about getting others to do what we want when it comes to other things?
Get the Youngest Generations on Board Firstand the rest will start to follow. Jamie Oliver’s main goal in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and the other food advocacy programs he’s been a part of is to change the food the children are eating. Jamie Oliver targets school food programs.
The habits of Jamie Oliver’s youngest clients have not been as deeply ingrained as those of his more mature target audience and are thus more open to suggestion. With a bit of education and persistence, and a little parental guidance and adult supervision, the children in the schools depicted in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution have dropped their old eating habits in favor of something new.
Appeal to All 5 Sensesand to People’s Emotions. The food that Jamie Oliver proposed to the school children in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution had to not only taste good, but be colorful and appealing to look at, smell good: sound crunchy if it was supposed to be crunchy; and have the right texture and consistency. School food traditionally has been lacking in many of these categories, which explains how it got it’s reputation for being so disagreeable in the first place.
But even if all our senses are working together, there has to exist an impulse to define and categorize what we are observing. This is where emotion comes in.
Sometimes, Jamie Oliver uses fear as a motivator in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Like when he shows “The Dawg”, a local radio personality and one of Jamie Oliver’s harshest critics a supersized coffin and explains that this is what is waiting for America’s supersized population.
Sometimes, Jamie Oliver uses the comfort of companionship and sense of belonging we feel when we are part of a group. Like when he posts pictures of all 1000 people who participated in Jamie’s Kitchen on the wall.
Sometimes, Jamie Oliver uses compassion. Hearing an overweight high schooler tearfully testify that she was told by doctors she might only have seven years to live can pull at many heartstrings.
The success of Jamie Oliver’s techniques was their diversity. Each person respond to a different emotional motivator. Jamie Oliver demonstrated in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution how to take one issue: Telling Americans to Change What They Eat, and make it relevant to a wide variety of people.
By the series finale of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, many people were eating differently. Some people looked physically different after just several months, shedding 20 lbs or more. That weight loss is evidence that Jamie Oliver knows how to get people to do want he wants.