Jamie Oliver: Only “posh and middle class” care about healthy eating

Chef is taking on the sugar industry        

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has hit out at the UK’s eating habits, saying eating well is considered a “posh and middle class” concern.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Oliver admitted that his campaign to improve school dinners for poorer children had not been wholly successful.

He said: “I admit I haven’t succeeded, mainly because I haven’t single-mindedly gone for it. In Britain, eating well and feeding your kid right and being aware about food is all considered very posh and middle class.

“The reality is that in most of Europe some of the best food comes from the poorest communities. Our harder-to-reach poorer communities are suffering more.”

Now, Oliver is turning his attention to the sugar industry.

As part of a Channel 4 documentary, Oliver will examine the role sugar consumption plays in the development of diseases including Type 2 diabetes.

He said: “A 500ml bottle of cola has 13 and a half teaspoons. What? Half the sugar you consume is hidden in foods. The single largest amount of calories consumed by our children is in sugary soft drinks.

“They’re a business and they categorically don’t believe in a sugar tax. But seven pence on a can of Coke is a billion quid a year and I want it for you! Even those who are on side, like scientists, hate the idea of [pictures of] teaspoons on the side of sugary sweetened drinks, but I totally disagree. If you put a snapshot on a can and it said it had ten teaspoons of sugar in it, it’s going to change consumption by everyone.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Don't agree with a sugar tax - sugar is not fundamentally bad for you like smoking or some fats. Its only bad if eaten to excess.

    However there should be rules in the way its hidden and unnecessarily added to foods.

    Perhaps ensure that lower sugar/fat/salt equivalents have to be sold at the same price as the standard product. and standard products cannot be sold unless the healthier version is also on the shelf.

    Have noticed the local Tesco's has now reduced the number of healthier food choices in favour of the full fat/salt/sugar versions!

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  • He is of course right and it's got nothing to do with available cash, it's not expensive to eat healthy. The less educated just tend to go for the easy option. I.e. Pizza you cook in a microwave.

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