Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef, cookbook author, restauranteur, food campaigner “and most importantly today … dad”, is now taking a more active stance on waging the war against obesity caused by sugar, and he’s called to British Prime Minister David Cameron to step up his game and get serious with the recently lobbied sugar tax debate.
The celebrated TV chef turned health campaigner has exclaimed that “ball is firmly in the Government’s court”, the Prime Minster has not shown any movement towards legislating the recommend sugar tax, despite studies and national polls pointing toward a dire need of it for the population’s health. The government isn’t very convinced a sugar tax is the way to get, true, lasting results in public health, In fact, officials note that it’s a regressive move, one that will disproportionately alienate poorer consumers and may even lead to loss of livelihood.
Oliver, on the other hand, has praised these studies and the solidarity of people in favour of the sugar tax, encouraging legislators to think “like parents, not politicians.”
“I’m excited and relieved that we finally got to see Public Health England’s courageous, forward-thinking report and its excellent recommendations such as a proposed sugar levy, cutting down on the advertising of high sugar food, all of which are powerful weapons in improving our children’s health,” Oliver enthuses.”There has never been a better time than now.”
According to the a study published by Public Health England, nearly 25% of adults and 19% of pre-teeners in England are obese, costing the National Health Service a whopping $7.8 billion every year. About 68% of people confined in British hospitals are there because of diet-related diseases. Further more, a startling fact is majority of that number come from poorer families, with parents and guardians juggling as much as three to five jobs a day just to feed a family on what they can afford. These individuals often turn to sugary foods and drinks, as these are products that fit in their budget and their need to feed a large family.
In the face of this, Oliver is showing no signs of backing down on the health issue, and has even entoned an eerie possibility of his actions: “If I disappear in the next three to four years, you will know why. This is a very powerful force and industry.”
Despite his public stance on sugar, Jamie Oliver allows his own children a modicum of sweets. “”The kids get a little bag – you don’t get many sweets for 50p,” he says. “They’re full of sugar, no nutritional value at all. Technically, I’m not allowed to give them sweets until after lunch, but sometimes one slips in.”
“I don’t want to be a Nazi about it. It’s about getting it right most of the time – and most is an important word. Sugar should be celebrated – it is a joy and a treat. It’s when sugar starts infiltrating everything else, when it becomes normalised, that it’s a problem.”
Jamie Oliver certainly walks his talk — readers may be encouraged to take up the low-sugar lifestyle browsing through the recipes on his website.