Jamie Oliver Sugar Rush

Sugar Rush: Jamie Oliver declares war on sugar

A decade on from his school dinners campaign, Jamie Oliver is back fighting a new war, this time against unhealthy levels of sugar in the nation’s diet.

Once again, comments The Obersver, Oliver’s battles against vested interests and public ennui makes for an entertaining narrative. As Oliver acknowledges, if school dinners was Star Wars, then Sugar Rush, his documentary to be broadcast this week, is The Empire Strikes Back.

Oliver is genuinely alarmed by the impact that sugar is having on the young – and with good reason. That there is an epidemic of bad teeth and type-2 diabetes, costing the NHS billions a year, is not disputed. That it is on the rise is equally accepted. What is up for discussion, however, is the best way of combating these problems.

Oliver’s favoured weapon is a 20% levy on sugar-sweetened drinks, something that in places as diverse as Mexico, Finland and Hungary is credited with encouraging consumers to switch to healthier beverages. Not everyone agrees. The Food and Drink Federation counters that, after an initial fall when a similar measure was introduced in France, consumption of soft drinks rose.

There will be plenty such counter-arguments thrown at Oliver as the soft drinks industry seeks to destroy his arguments. Nevertheless, many experts, including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, now believe a tax is one of many measures that should be considered if the UK is to lose its sweet tooth.

Historically, the sugar industry has proved adept at portraying any attack on it as an attack on consumer freedom, a strategy employed by big tobacco. But for too long the industry has successfully obfuscated the debate around what constitutes healthy levels of sugar in a diet.

It seems astonishing, bordering on the archaic, that the UK has maximum sugar guidelines for adults but no specific equivalent for children. Oliver’s latest crusade encourages us to ask important questions. May the force be with him.

Source: The Observer

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Just what the doctor ordered: Jamie Oliver declares war on sugar

Jamie Oliver is back on screen this week, waging “absolute war” on sugar in a one-hour Channel 4 documentary, Jamie’s Sugar Rush, and I couldn’t be more delighted. Not only have I missed his campaigning presence; at this precise moment he is just what the doctor, the dentist, the public health professional and the global food expert ordered.

It’s hard to believe that it’s a decade since his school dinners campaign. This is partly because I can still hear his exasperated tones as he pleaded with the nation to stop feeding their kids junk. Nobody does outrage quite like Oliver.

Admittedly, I haven’t seen Sugar Rush yet, but I feel confident enough that it won’t be a turkey (twizzler). For one thing, the Jamie Oliver brand is nothing if not consistent and, second, this polemic has great ingredients.

It will expose the true cost of sugar (particularly sugar-sweetened drinks) on global health and connect this to the fact that we now have 700 amputations per year in the UK from diabetes. It will help explain why childhood obesity rates have risen so dramatically within a generation: in the US, where a third of children are overweight or obese, the average weight of a child has risen by more than 5kg in three decades. And it will show how a “soda tax” in Mexico has, it seems, helped stop the rot of soaring incidences of diabetes in the land once dubbed “Mexicoke”….. click headline for the full article

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