Jamie Oliver calls for 'Eton mess' protest if the government doesn't revoke U-turn on childhood obesity bill

The  Staff Canteen

TV chef and cookbook author Jamie Oliver has implored the prime minister to reconsider his "reckless U-turn" on The childhood obesity strategy and called for the British public to join him for an 'Eton Mess' protest outside 10 Downing Street on Friday

Following the announcement by the government that it would be delaying restrictions on junk food advertisements for at least another year, Jamie Oliver released posted a video on social media calling for a reversal within 36 hours.

Should the government fail to reconsider, he said, the British public should join him for a protest outside Number 10 Downing Street on Friday afternoon (20th May).

He called for protesters to come bearing an 'Eton Mess' dessert to symbolise "the privilege and the mess that is our British government and its inability to do the right thing."

Addressing the Prime Minister, he said: "Please reconsider [your] backtracking on key parts of the childhood obesity strategy. This is one of the most profoundly important things as far as getting to the heart of levelling up and making this country a happier, healthier, more prosperous, more productive, fairer place."

Jamie called for people to take part in order "to show [the] support that [the Prime Minister] needs and his government needs to take the childhood obesity strategy seriously," spitulating that attendees keep it light, staying for just "15 minutes of fun" with "no mess, no shouting, just positivity."

The childhood obesity strategy

As part of the Queen's Speech last week, the government dropped parts of its strategy aimed at tackling childhood obesity, justifying the decision as the result of the "unprecedented global economic situation," adding that the delay would "give industry more time to prepare for the restrictions on advertising."

The U-turn will scupper the introduction rules banning multibuy deals on food and drinks that are high in fat, sugar, or salt (HFSS), such as buy one get one free (BOGOF) and '3 for 2' deals. It will also delay restrictions on free refills for soft drinks.

Additionally, the restrictions banning HFSS adverts on TV before 9pm, as well as paid-for adverts online, will be paused for a year, meaning they will only come into force in January 2024. There will, however, be a consultation on rules surrounding TV and paid-for adverts online in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the rules limiting the location of unhealthy foods in shops - no longer allowing them in key locations such as checkouts, store entrances and aisle ends - will go ahead as planned in October.

Public Health Minister Maggie Throup said: "We’re committed to doing everything we can to help people live healthier lives," and that pausing restrictions would allow the government "to understand its impact on consumers in light of an unprecedented global economic situation."

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th May 2022

Jamie Oliver calls for 'Eton mess' protest if the government doesn't revoke U-turn on childhood obesity bill