GeneralJamie Oliver’s Junk Food Ban: a Way to Make...

Jamie Oliver’s Junk Food Ban: a Way to Make the Poor Poorer


- Advertisment -spot_img

By Shafiq Kyazze.

After a recent study named Britain the most obese country in western Europe, pressure is mounting on Theresa May’s government to do something about the issue. Campaigners such as Jamie Oliver are calling on the government to clamp down on what they think is junk food as a way of reducing child obesity.

A letter recently written by Jamie Oliver to Theresa May included statements like “An end to ‘buy one get one free’ and other multi-buy junk food offers,” and “Reformation of junk food to reduce sugar, calories and fat”.

The definition of junk food itself isn’t clear and is quite subjective. For example, some people find cheese nutritious while others see it as a food with high salt and calories. In this instance however, it has been felt that ‘junk food’ is simply food the Upper class like Jamie Oliver don’t fancy eating.

The food being referred to as junk is mostly consumed by the poor. A proposal to ban food offers or impose junk food taxes will make food more expensive for the have-nots who are already suffering from low incomes. Such taxes end up taking a higher portion of low incomes than high incomes according to the Centre for Policy Studies.

Jamie Oliver, a renowned chef and restaurateur wrote a letter to Theresa May urging her to deal with child obesity. (Image Source: York Press)

So what should the government do about child obesity? Rather than banning food, children should be taught how to read nutrition labels on foods. “Teach them how to become more objective, and how to evaluate what is healthy and why certain foods are better for you than others,” according to Sara Dimerman, a psychologist in Thornhill, Ontario, who regularly sees children in her practice.

“Tight restriction and banning of certain foods doesn’t mean that a child will choose a healthy alternative,” Dimerman adds. In Ontario, Canada, programs like Farm to School Grants help kids learn about nutrition and participate in growing and cooking their own food.

In Japan, a country with some of the lowest obesity rates, schools have nutritionists and ensure that children are taught about food and lifestyle-related diseases and are encouraged to choose a traditional Japanese meal over fast food. Furthermore, kids at primary school level are encouraged to partake in food preparation process and serve school lunches to their counterparts.

(Image Source: Business Insider)

In Japan, beginning in elementary school, kids come to understand that what you put into your body matters a great deal in how you think and feel throughout the day — and how you go about your life.

In addition to this, children should be taught the benefits of exercising since lack of exercise is twice as likely to lead to death than obesity. Scientists recommend a 20-minute daily walk with a modest increase in exercise leading to health benefits as well as improving health consciousness.

In short, making food dearer doesn’t necessarily make people healthier, but what it definitely does is take more of their money and make them poorer. Nutritional education and exercise is what makes people healthier.


Shafiq is a Chemical engineering student at The University of Manchester. He has a strong background in philosophy and history having been exposed to such issues at a very young age. He has a strong interest in economics, history, politics, philosophy and social issues. Shafiq is also an avid Barcelona fan and is currently a writer for The Common Sense network.



Common Sense Contributors
Common Sense Contributors
Our contributors are friends of The Common Sense Network who write for us from time to time. We love hearing fresh perspectives from people in different spaces. If you would like to become a contributor contact us at

Latest news

‘They don’t care about our future’: 4 in 5 children don’t feel listened to by politicians

The biggest survey of children in England ever produced has revealed four in five children don’t feel listened to...

Tory donor ‘racism’ dispute is embarrassing for all involved

A Tory minister has said his party would take another £10m from a donor who allegedly made comments about...

Is David Cameron winning over critics?

One hundred days, thirty-six different visits to twenty-six different countries, and eight different multinational gatherings including the G20 and...

No Third-Way: How the two-party system is broken

British politics is to put it simply a mess. Even for those of us who might pride ourselves on...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

How does it end for Vladimir Putin?

By now, Russian President Vladimir Putin's interview with American conservative political commentator Tucker Carlson has reached over eighteen million...

Are Young Brits Becoming Less Democratic?

A recent study by the centre-right think tank Onward found that 65% of 18-35 year olds in the UK...

Must read

‘They don’t care about our future’: 4 in 5 children don’t feel listened to by politicians

The biggest survey of children in England ever produced...

Tory donor ‘racism’ dispute is embarrassing for all involved

A Tory minister has said his party would take...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you