Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Obesity strategy a farce: Oliver

Jamie Oliver has slammed the Government's new anti-obesity strategy, saying eight-year-olds could come up with a better solution

Jamie Oliver has reacted angrily to the Government's obesity strategy, calling it "worthless, regurgitated, patronising rubbish" and dismissing it as "a farce".

The chef, presenter and campaigner has recently been trying to tackle obesity on a global scale by taking his fight to the United Nations last month.

And he was unimpressed with the measures unveiled in a bid to tackle the growing problem of the overweight, calling it a "cop-out". Oliver said he felt "upset and let down" by the Government.

The Channel 4 chef said: "Simply telling people what they already know - that they need to eat less and move more - is a complete cop out. The country's bill of health is shocking, and it's not going to get any better over the next 30 years if a clearly defined plan isn't put into place soon.

"We simply can't afford the financial or health costs of doing nothing. This Government might be able to navigate us slowly out of a recession, but it has no clue about how to make sustainable change in the short or long term, or how to inspire, enforce or empower public health."

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley outlined his "ambition" to bring down England's obesity levels by 2020, but said he was not in favour of regulating the food and drink industry. He wants people to take responsibility for their own health, and reduce their calorie intake.

Oliver said: "This whole strategy is just worthless, regurgitated, patronising rubbish. Any of us could walk into any primary school in the country and find plenty of eight-year-olds with more creative solutions to these problems. It's a farce.

"I know for a fact that all the solutions lie with the wonderful, diverse people of this country. We need a Government that inspires change, then legislates and finances that change.

"Being in a recession is not an excuse to not use the appropriate means across business, education, food industry and advertising. If the Government doesn't get this right, we're on track for something costly and disastrous. It will erode the health, creativity, productivity and ultimately the profitability of our country."

"Personally I'm really upset and let down. And I am positive any food expert, scientist or parent that cares will feel the same."

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