The 2012 London Olympics will show off the fittest sportsmen/women from every corner of the world. Unfortunately this is under the sponsorship of the likes of Coca Cola and McDonalds. It nearly feels like some parallel universe where the impossible becomes reality.

As the obesity rates are rising in the UK, with the harrowing prediction of 48% of men and 43% of women being obese by 2030 (current numbers 24%women, 22% men), we have to welcome the initiative coming from the organisation that represents nearly all doctors in the UK. The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges is calling for an immediate review of the obesity tackling measures.

The 3 month long enquiry will look at actions such as diet, exercise, banning companies as the two mentioned above from sponsoring sporting events, restriction of advertising, fat taxes, fast food free zones around schools... I am extremely pleased this has become a priority for the medical community.

Judging from some of the comments, that follow articles on this subject, many people are outraged by the possibility of “fat tax”. Many families, who are on very restricted budgets, can’t see past the cheap junk food, many have never been shown how to. This is why an education program should be put into place. You can (and we should) make cheap, fast and junk food less available but not without offering other options, teaching people how to shop, cook and eat. I know it is a bit of a utopia in today’s cash strapped world, but I think if money was spend on teaching mums how to feed their families, kids about healthy eating, and getting everyone back in the kitchen, perhaps in due course (even if this means few decades) we may be able to reverse this massive problem.

To quote Prof Terence Stephenson: “ This is a huge problem for the UK. It’s much bigger than HIV was, much bigger than swine flu.” Action is definitely needed and I wish AoMRC will be able to kick start a major change.


I never though she would but my daughter really enjoyed eating these pancakes, possibly because she made them with me or perhaps her brother cheering made all the difference.

For the spinach: I had 250g of mature spinach, after taking stalks off, wilting it in a pan, squeezing all the water I was left with about a cup of spinach. You could use 200g of baby spinach. Or just defrost and squeeze some frozen spinach. The amount doesn’t need to be precise.

Makes 16 pancakes


Spinach pancakes
175g (1 cup + 2 Tbs) wholemeal self-raising flour
375ml (1 and 1/2 cups) non dairy milk
1 cup cooked spinach (see above)
6 spring onions, white and light green parts only, finely sliced
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil spray

Mooli pickle
1 good size mooli (Japanese horseradish)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs Sweet Freedom (or agave syrup)

  1. First start making the pickle.
  2. Peel the mooli, grate in coarsely using a box grater or food processor.
  3. Add the teaspoon of salt to the mooli, place a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy such as tins of beans.
  4. Let rest for 30min.
  5. Put the mooli into a clean tea towel (you can wash the salt off first), squeeze all the water out.
  6. Dress the mooli with vinegar and sweet freedom. If you like a tarter pickle omit the sweetener. Set aside.
  7. To make the pancakes, in a large bowl combine the flour and milk, mix well, creating a thick batter.
  8. Chop the spinach finely and add to the batter.
  9. Add the spring onions, cumin and cayenne (if using).
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Let the batter rest in the fridge for 20min.
  12. Heat a large non-stick frying pan, spray with some olive oil spray.
  13. Spoon a heaped tablespoons of the spinach batter into the frying pan, cook until bubbles start to appear on the surface (about 2-3 min), flip over. Cook for further 1-2 min or until the pancakes fill firm with no batter using out when pressed.