Jamie Oliver: Government's obesity plan is "best news in ten years"

27 July 2020, 11:49 | Updated: 28 July 2020, 11:13

By Seán Hickey

James O'Brien was told the Government's plan to take action on obesity is a "bold, forthright" strategy that can make a difference to the health of Brits.

Boris Johnson has been teasing out plans for Government to take comprehensive action on the obesity crisis in the past week. The key points of the plan emerged today which aims at curbing "buy one, get one free" deals and "checkout sweets."

James O'Brien was speaking to Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef and a prominent voice in the fight against obesity about the news.

"I'm actually doing something I didn't think I'd be doing," Mr Oliver began. "I'm applauding Boris for doing something bold, forthright, having not one, but a handful, an ambush of initiatives I believe will make a difference."

The TV chef wasn't going to give overwhelming praise before he saw the plan in action. "We've got to make sure it lands and it gets done and they deliver it." But he was confident enough to tell James that "this is probably the best bit of news in, probably about ten years."

Mr Oliver has been campaigning the government for years about the UK's obesity crisis and noted that the fact there is a multi-pronged approach this time around, he is confident there will be results.

Jamie Oliver welcomed the news the government will take action on obesity
Jamie Oliver welcomed the news the government will take action on obesity. Picture: PA

"We've always looked at singular items and they often don't work because the problem we have is that obesity is a normal response to an abnormal environment."

Mr Oliver told James that "the abnormal environment is everything from the marketing, what's on offer, how much it costs," and because the government are targeting each of these things, he welcomes the strategy.

James summarised why the celebrity chef welcomed the news, guessing that it is because the strategy "is substance, not just style" the plan is being welcomed so widely.

Mr Oliver noted that the impact of this strategy will not only have an effect on people's weight, but their general quality of life. "We can see when these elements are reduced from a community that they thrive better and the inequality between the poorest and the richest get shorter.

"I think it's in all of our interests, no matter where we come from to make sure that our poorest communities have as many chances to thrive because everyone's better off."