Jamie calls for clearer fizzy drinks labelling
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has called for “clarity” on fizzy drinks labelling as part of his sugar tax campaign.
The TV cook called for sugar content to be shown in teaspoons on drinks and also urged the Prime Minster David Cameron to be “brave” and stand up to junk food bosses.
He made the calls while giving evidence to the House of Commons’ Health Committee, telling MPs a tax on sugar would be the “single most important” change that could be made.
The healthy eating activist has said it was a “crucial” time and the government has an “opportunity” to include the tax and make “bold” changes in the forthcoming five-year child obesity strategy.
The chef, who has introduced a levy on soft drinks with added sugar in his restaurants, said: “We should be big and bold. Who is running the country? The businesses who are profiting from ill health or is it us.”
Jamie then went on to speak at a special meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes.
He told the audience of experts and MPs that obesity was causing great “stress” on the NHS and the time to act was now.
He said: “I don’t believe the industry is passionate about clarity, when you give members of the British public clarity they will make reasonable decisions. When you confuse them, then things go feral.”
Jamie said clearer labelling alongside a sugar tax were two parts of his 100-point plan, which has been formed following feedback from experts and organisations.
The TV chef said: “It’s a critical time and my job is to join up the dots between the facts and the science and the feeling of the general public.”
He added: “This is of the upmost importance for Britain here today, we have made great strides in the last three years. We have already started to recognise the need to educate children.”
Talking about the power and objectives of junk food and fizzy drinks companies, he said: “It’s deeply and profoundly important that business does not shape the health of the nation.”
After being quizzed by a member of the audience, Jamie said sugary drinks used to treat hypos should be exempt from a sugar tax.
Keith Vaz MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Diabetes, said: “It’s because of the work of people like Jamie Oliver that I understand that it’s important that we know about what we eat. I would like to thank Jamie Oliver for the excellent work he has does in this area.”