The campaigning chef urges cross-party MPs to take firm action

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Via: Getty

Jamie Oliver's sugar awareness campaign has been ramped up a notch: with a televised discussion on the matter with the House of Commons' Health Committee. 


Speaking on tackling the UK's health and obesity problem yesterday, he suggested the state needs to take a firmer stance to incentivise the public to "make better choices". He also called for more food education to be implemented in primary schools.


"Government over the past 30 years have done an incredible disservice to children by making it hard, or harder, to make good choices," he said. 


His suggestion? 


A 'sugar tax' on fizzy drinks. It's been estimated that this measure could raise  £1bn a year – money which The Naked Chef reckons could be split between the NHS and primary schools. 


With regards to the latter, he wants to see schools invest in gardens to grow food, as well as more time spent teaching children how to cook. 


"I don't believe that anything in my plan is radical. It's very basic. A tax on sugary drinks is one part, but I believe it's deeply symbolic," he added. 


There's little signal that the notion will come to pass at the moment, with the Department of Health releasing the following statement: 


"The government has committed to a tax lock to avoid raising the cost of living and to promote UK productivity and economic growth.


"The causes of obesity are complex, caused by a number of dietary, lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors, and tackling it will require a comprehensive and broad approach.


"As such, the government is considering a range of options for tackling childhood obesity."

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Jamie Oliver speaking at The House of Commons yesterday 


On the matter,  Aisling Pigott, a spokesman for the British Dietetic Association said: "As a dietitian, I wholly support the principle of taxing sugary drinks and mirror the calls for government to tackle the complex and alarming rise in childhood obesity. I wholeheartedly agree with taxation of all fizzy drinks, which will encourage people to take stock and consider a cheaper, healthier option.”




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