Jamie Oliver Sugar Rush


Just thought I should open up a debate on this one.

I was a bit disappointed by the programme. Picking easy targets, providing little education, logically flawed at points, self-promoting and hypocritical (given none of his restaurants follow the guidance given).

And I mainly agree with the message. But I don’t really get why a tax on just sugary drinks?


I agree to a point, I think we’d all agree that sugar in all of its forms has invaded diets whether knowingly or not and has caused more damage in terms of health than probably any other food source.

Sugary drinks are probably the easiest target to start off as they are one massive sugar delivery system. No one can or should be surprised that these drinks contain huge amounts of sugar and I don’t think a tax will be effective to educate people. Parents know Coke has huge amounts of sugar but continue to give it to their children. It’s not education that’s required its stronger governance of what gets sold.

Over the last 20 - 30 years the diet industry has boomed off of the back of ‘low fat’ and fat being evil. Fat is often replaced in diet food with sugar which we know has a far more insidious effect as its hidden. In my opinion until the diet brigade are stopped from pedalling nonsense this is not going to go away.

The biggest problem is the money, the sugar industry is multi billion dollar and they have the lobbying power and wealth to combat all attempts at legislation. Until parents start to boycott these things not a lot will change.

As far as Jamie is concerned, I don’t really have a view but anything that highlights these sort of things has to be good. He has done wonders for School Meals and changing some attitudes which has to be applauded. He is also a businessman and has made a huge amount of money from being in the public eye, I’d like to think he does this to pay something back.


PHE and govt will never do a sugar tax. Their argument is that it’s analagous with the salt situation. They provide the education and the consumer demand (influenced by that education) forces companies to change. You could argue that Coca Cola Life (or whatever it’s called) is evidence of that.


Say what you like about Jamie… I’m not letting him in my kitchen. Have you seen him kicking the oven door closed and slamming the pots pans and kitchen utensils around.
My cooker is only one year old and I would like it to be still working in ten years time.

Signed the petition in the hope that drink companies reduce the amount of added sugar currently in drinks targeted at Kids.


I think back over the years of struggling with my obesity (over three decades and counting!) Started dieting at the age of 10. Diets always followed by going back to “normal” foods only to find the problem worse than ever a few months later. What wouldn’t I have given to be spared the humiliation of being an obese child? to avoid the frustration at the perceived “unfairness” of repeatedly being put on one diet after another? What would I pay now to help today’s kids avoid the same?

In my later years as an obese man, each year brought new psychological fears and health concerns relating to my body self image and my weight and ultimately led to health complications which I now have to live with. I’m horrified to think how much money I have spent as an adult on various weight loss products and programs, how much time I have lost to my weight issues over the years. Would that I’d spent them more wisely!

As I see it agreeing to a 7p tax on every sugary drink I consume is no sacrifice, if the tax helps reduce soda consumption good, but if it helps educate children about the dangers of sugar so they can be empowered to avoid the mistakes I made - well, that’s not only great, but also the very least I can do. I signed the petition - no brainer!


On the subject of 7p tax, I don’t think it will make much difference but I have signed the petition despite my reservations of the tv programme


Two scary things for me was what happened in Mexico and the state of our kids teeth.
I thought the meeting with the restaurant bosses, having the pile of legs brought home the message.
Yes some easy targets but also quite shocking.
I guess the aim of the restaurant tax would be charge more and use any extra cash for projects in the respective areas.
On the whole can’t fault him for trying


Surely you should be doing it in your own restaurants first?

Jamie’s Italian has super calorific sugar laden desserts, lacks full nutritional information, adds sugar syrup to its cocktails, does not put tap water on the table, charges the same for bottled water as coke, which is of course on the menu.


Also why not just tax added sugars per gram?

Still don’t get why that isn’t a better solution. Paid by supplier, passed onto consumer, easily taxed.


Consumer demand based on rational interpretation of the available data is not a reliable model, unfortunately. If you present a choice of you can have coke for 1.50 or a diet coke for 1.25 then you’re more likely to have a good outcome.


The main reason to go with a tax on sugary drinks is that there is strong evidence that it works very well.

It’s also the lowest hanging fruit !


I’d guess that the owners of the chain really just use his name more than anything, in addition it’s a profit making exercise for all involved, not an educational push, the two aren’t connected. There is a confusion under his personal brand - that’s true, but doing some good is better than doing no good :slight_smile: