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Jamie Oliver says the UK government's obese strategy is failing

Boris Johnson has delayed the bans set to cut multi-buy deals on selected 'junk food' in shops and supermarkets across the UK. The Prime Minister has also delayed the prohibition on any junk food TV advertisements before the UK 21:00 GMT watershed. 


According to the BBC, Chef Jamie Oliver explained the importance of the bans in protecting children's health. 


Regarding multi-buy deals, the Children's Food Campaign told the BBC: "People spend more on junk and less on healthy food." 

 However, government ministers say that the current rise in living costs is at the top of their priority list. 


The BBC quoted the Department of Health and Social Care on how the planned ban will cut any "buy one get one free" deals on junk food and any "free refills" of soft drinks. The plan was initially set to be implemented in October this year but will now be brought in 12 months later in 2023. Junk food and beverages are high in salt, sugar, and fats.


The department added that the restriction of TV advertisements and some online adverts will now not come into force until January 2024.

 However, any junk food placement changes inside stores will not be delayed and will take place this October. 


For many years, Mr. Oliver has been an active campaigner for children making healthier choices. He believes that it is crucial to restrict adverts to protect children's health. He tweeted: "Parents and kids don't want to hear any more excuses from the government. I hope the Prime Minister @BorisJohnson proves me wrong and shows real leadership to give young people a healthier and fairer future. #ChildHealthUTurn." 


"This is a wasted opportunity, and it starts to erode the whole obesity strategy - which at some point looked progressive and world-leading written down, but is falling apart when it comes to acting on these policies. #ChildHealthUTurn", Mr. Oliver tweeted


"We know there's a vital need to protect child health and ensure the next generation doesn't suffer from diet-related disease. Policies like restricting junk food advertising to kids are crucial for leveling up and popular with the public... #ChildHealthUTurn", Mr. Oliver tweeted.


The BBC quoted Lord Bethall, former health minister, who explained how "difficult" it would be for the government to revisit the plans for these bans in time for the 2024 election. He described the burden that junk food-related illnesses put on the NHS and the taxpayer. 


In the NHS's most recent health survey in 2019, around two-thirds of adults in England were obese or overweight. 28% of those adults were considered obese. As for children, 

the National Child Measurement Programme found that 14% were obese and 13% were overweight.


Michelle Mitchell told the BBC she was "incredibly disappointed" with the bans being postponed. She explained how obesity is the "second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK." In March, Cancer Research UK released a study showing "strong evidence" of advertising specifically targeting those aged 11-19 into making unhealthier decisions.


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