This week Jamie Oliver is launching not only his new documentary – Jamie’s Sugar Rush, airing 9.00pm on Thursday 3rd September – but also his new campaign in a bid to start a war on sugar!
Jamie’s new campaign has five aims (with an overarching main aim) as follows:
- My Big Aim: Introduce the sugary drinks tax
- Legislate the responsibility deal
- Ban all junk food marketing on TV before 9pm
- Make the traffic light labelling system mandatory for all
- Show sugar content in teaspoons on front of pack for all sugary drinks
All of the above could have serious positive effects on public health, some more than others. To read more about Jamie’s ideas and WHY they could help see his full manifesto here.
During the documentary on Thursday we will also see Jamie visiting people affected in different ways by sugar – from young children having their teeth pulled out to an amputee with Type 2 Diabetes.
As a Public Health Nutritionist and specialist in paediatrics, I have seen the huge impact that sugar has on the diet of young children. In fact, starting my career in one of London’s toughest boroughs meant I frequently saw young children with black and rotted teeth – often waiting for an operation to have them removed. Therefore, I welcome this campaign and feel that anything that highlights the need for change to the masses is a positive.
Many others agree and want to support this campaign, including other health professionals and children’s organisations throughout the UK.
Sustain – an organization which runs campaigns and projects with an aim of improving food and farming – is working alongside Jamie on the campaign.
The Children’s Food Trust – set up following Jamie Oliver’s campaign on school dinners – is also on board and urging the government to make changes.
And finally the Royal College of General Practitioners has also put out a statement of support for Jamie in his new crusade.
A role for celebrities?
Campaigns like this, headed by positive role models who are already very much in the public eye are so influential to the general public. At the very least they help to raise awareness, bring these issues into the limelight and spur discussions and, at the most, they can be a catalyst for national change.
Think what more we could do for the health of our young people if other celebrities and role models would get on board and – instead of promoting the new fad, new junk food or unattainable lifestyles – promoted positive health messages. Picture your favourite soap star eating wholemeal toast at the café, X factor panelists shouting about 5-A-Day or David Beckham sipping on water instead of coke? We live in a celebrity culture that could be used to shape public health, and the health of our future generations for the good.
Thank you Jamie Oliver – keep on!!
Sign Jamie’s petition to introduce a sugar tax on soda’s here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106651