Jamie Oliver Is Back On The Warpath And This Time He's Taking On Sugar
You know the winter is over when Jamie Oliver takes a break from flogging cakes and pies on Sainsbury's Christmas adverts and goes back to tackling childhood obesity.
Oliver, who saw Turkey Twizzlers banished to the history books, is back on the warpath, and this time it's sugar he's got lined up in his crosshairs.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the chef-turned-campaigner said he is calling for a ban on junk food adverts before 9pm and to stop energy drinks being sold to children.
"I am asking is it appropriate to advertise food that is high in salt, fat and sugar to children at prime time when obesity is crippling the NHS?," Oliver told the paper.
Oliver also said that he supports the new 'sugar tax' and says that he's happy the government is now taking action.
"All the money [raised] is going to breakfast clubs and sports in schools. That's the thing that makes people go, 'Oh well tax for good, a bit like a donation, yes I'm happy to do that'," he said.
"It's the first time the Government has stood up and said, 'Soft drinks are the single largest source of sugar. Forty years ago you were a luxury, now people use you as everyday hydration. You're a problem'.
"Similar taxes are applied to petrol, to gambling, to smoking. I don't think it's any different.
He added: "The reason for the tax on gambling is really clear: if you gamble a lot, if it gets out of control, the Government needs tax and resources because the kids go hungry and partners normally get abuse, there's a pattern, you know?
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"Ultimately it is right for the state to incentivise people to turn a tap on and drink water more than open a can of sugary drink."
Now Oliver is taking matters into his own hands by pushing for a ban on junk food adverts before 9pm and also to limit the types of food advertisements children are exposed to online and on billboards.
"When do kids and teenagers actually watch telly? It's the major TV shows after 6pm, things like X Factor when often there'll be 11 junk food ads in the breaks.
"So if you observe that the target isn't where you thought it was, then you simply extend it."
But what sort of adverts is Oliver concerned about exactly?
"Everything from Coke to McDonald's. Domino's. All the sweet manufacturers. There's a long list.
"It's not saying, 'Coke - you can't advertise'. It's saying, 'You can't advertise red [original] Coke. You should really be advertising Coke Zero'.
"It tastes pretty similar. I can't taste the difference. So it's not a total bear trap."
Fair play. And while it may be slightly worrying that a famous chef can't tell the difference between two things that taste nothing like one another, you can't fault his commitment to what is a pretty noble cause.
Featured Image Credit: PA