Monday 16 September 2019

Jamie Oliver pitches ideas for healthy food adverts

The chef and anti-junk food campaigner is calling for a change in the way food is marketed to children.

Jamie Oliver has suggested how healthy food could be successfully advertised to children (Matt Crossick/PA)
Jamie Oliver has suggested how healthy food could be successfully advertised to children (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Andrew Arthur, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Chef Jamie Oliver has proposed a series of adverts for healthy food aimed at children.

The anti-junk food campaigner has called for broad changes in the way food that is high in fat and salt is marketed to children.

In a column for Radio Times, Oliver said fast food companies’ advertising campaigns have contributed to a “society-wide normalisation of junk food”.

Jamie Oliver (left) and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall after giving evidence to MPs about child obesity.

As well as a watershed of 9pm for TV junk food adverts, Oliver demanded that “proper controls” are put on what children are exposed to online and on public transport.

The celebrity chef appeared in marketing campaigns for supermarket Sainsbury’s for more than 10 years.

In the column, the restaurateur demonstrated his business acumen by suggesting how adverts for healthy food could be made appealing to children.

He wrote: “I’ve made enough food adverts in my time to know what sells – they need to be short and they need to be memorable.”

The cover of Radio Times (Radio Times)

Oliver then shared his vision of how TV ads could highlight healthy food choices from a range of big company names, including Sainsbury’s, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

He recently told MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee that childhood obesity is a catastrophe and that it was time “every single minister” had a role in tackling the problem.

Oliver campaigned successfully for the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks as part of a Government anti-obesity policy. Shoppers now pay 18p or 24p per litre extra depending on how much extra sugar has been added to their drink of choice.

But Oliver now wants the tax extended to cover milkshakes, as well as tougher laws on advertising.

The full version of Oliver’s column can be read in this week’s edition of Radio Times.

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