Not a happy birthday for childhood obesity plan

Jamie Oliver has launched (another) series of stinging attacks on the government’s childhood obesity strategy.

In interviews with a number of newspapers to mark the launch of his latest business venture, the celebrity chef said the plan – published a year ago this Friday, August 18 – was “an incredible let down”.

“It [the strategy] could have been a moment of national pride and at least she [the prime minister, Theresa May] would have been able to look everyone in the eye and say we are going to get some change in the obesity graph in 10 years,” Oliver told the Sunday Times magazine.

However, the policies developed over two years with David Cameron were then torn up or watered down by the prime minister and her aides. The fact the final document was then snuck out with little PR suggested May’s government “don’t give a f***”, Oliver argued.

“But what’s even more scary ... is that when May released the child strategy that she had ruined, I believe her team were genuinely chuffed with what they had done,” Oliver added.

The 12-page strategy’s reliance on industry-led regulation and voluntary targets to reduce sugar and minimise the marketing of junk foods to children has been heavily criticised by campaigners and academics. The package of policies is “severely limited”, noted experts in an analysis published in the British Medical Journal in March.

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