Jamie Oliver under fire for backing Boris Johnson's controversial anti-obesity measures

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Tuesday 28 July 2020 06:30
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(Getty)

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver appeared on various news broadcasts yesterday to discuss the government's new plans to "tackle obesity".

Oliver has spent much of his career campaigning for healthy food to be accessible to disadvantaged people, such as those receiving free school meals, or in hospitals and prisons.

However, he has also been criticised for his approach, which included a self-imposed "sugar tax" on drinks at his own restaurant.

Speaking on Channel 4, Oliver was asked what he thought of the government's new initiative, which he said he thought "could be a pivotal moment".

He also highlighted that a tax on certain types of food is less helpful than actually subsidising healthy ones, but people were quick to remind him of his own actions.

But people were not particularly impressed.

Some people were frustrated that Oliver seemed to be praising the government, such as in this Sky News clip where he says "Boris seems to be the one that's really kind of got a plan here."

Others thought it was ironic that he was talking so authoritatively about economic issues considering his restaurant went into administration last year.

While some people just found him to be very out of touch, an accusation which has been levelled at him for some time.

And there were the people who found it amusing that he was popping back up for the debate.

Yesterday the government announced a series of measures as part of its "anti-obesity drive", including an NHS weight-loss app and the banning certain types of advertising which the government believes would discourage consumers from making healthy choices (such as "buy one get one free|" offers, which typically apply to processed food and snacks).

The government was heavily criticised for aspects to the campaign, including the emphasis on calories which activists warn can be triggering for those who have experienced eating disorders.

People were also baffled by the somewhat bizarre timing, given the government is simultaneously trying to convince people to eat in restaurants.

"Pivotal" indeed.

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