Jamie Oliver condemns government obesity policy

The chef and food campaigner criticised British leadership saying its weak efforts are ineffective against the obesity crisis

Government efforts to counter the increasing obesity crisis aren’t enough, claims chef and food campaigner Jamie Oliver.

Speaking in Melbourne, Australia, Mr Oliver launched an addition to his network of Ministry of Food centres, discussing responsible eating and the failures of British health policy.

‘We are lacking real leadership in Britain, and it’s killing us – literally,’ he said. ‘That whole government – they lack any imagination. They haven’t done anything that will even touch what’s been announced today.’

Mr Oliver’s latest criticism goes beyond his October condemnation of health secretary Andrew Lansley’s national ambition. The chef called his plan ‘worthless, regurgitated, patronising rubbish,’ and says government inaction shows a complete copout.

The Department of Health responded by maintaining it has strong plans to reduce obesity and save lives, including giving councils a budget for public health and working to show people how many calories are in the foods they eat.

But food campaigners say Mr Oliver is absolutely right.

Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum and founder of the Child Growth Foundation, says the current government is not only neglecting the issue, but it’s not even listening to campaigners.

‘When it was told by its own obesity advisers the measures it should continue with to make our children healthy, it not only didn’t listen, but it fired the advisers,’ says Ms Fry.

Malcolm Clark, coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, says: ‘The government gives us weak, industry-friendly policies which have little chance of changing people’s long-term behaviour. Austere times is not an acceptable reason for lacking an effective public health strategy.’

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