Campaigning celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Campaigning celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Chef Jamie Oliver has embarked on a mission to get the British government to fight obesity through cookery teaching in schools.

In a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, he and other leading figures in health and education call on him to introduce a minimum 24 hours' practical cooking skills and food education for pupils aged four to 14.

The group laments that the ''pride'' of hosting the Olympics has been ''tainted by the shameful fact that Britain is officially the fattest nation in Europe''.

But the Games provide an opportunity to change things for the better and teaching children through the national curriculum how to prepare nutritious meals would be an important step in tackling the rising obesity epidemic, they argue.

Oliver has previously campaigned for healthier school dinners.