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Jamie Oliver’s letter to Theresa May calling for total junk food deals ban

Jamie Oliver, the man who almost singlehandedly removed Turkey Twizzlers from school menus, is now trying to get junk food deals completely banned in the UK.

The celebrity chef has coordinated a letter calling on the government to introduce 13 new measures to help quash childhood obesity.

The letter, which is addressed to the Prime Minister, has been signed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as well as Nicola Sturgeon, Vince Cable, and Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley.

Here’s Jamie Oliver’s letter in full, which was sent to the Mirror:

One in three children now leave primary school overweight.

Oliver wants the government to be tougher on childhood obesity. The restaurateur wants to see buy-one-get-one-free junk food deals stopped, and restrictions put in place limiting the promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS).

The letter also mentions junk food advertising. Oliver proposes a sort of fizzy watershed – preventing fast food adverts from airing before 9pm.

Also on the agenda is banning cartoon characters being used to advertise junk food, and for compulsory traffic light labelling on HFSS foods. The traffic light system is currently only used in supermarkets on branded goods such crisps and ready meals.

HFSS foods are defined as foods deemed to have low nutritional value, are high in calories, salt, sugar and fat, but are thought to have little benefit for our health.

Jamie Oliver said in a statement sent to us: "​For the first time ever, we’re putting kids’ health above party politics. Protecting child health safeguards Britain’s future, which to me is morally above any political position.

"So this letter is a big moment! These major party leaders have put aside their differences and said, ‘We don’t agree on everything, but we do agree on this’. Some of the best words I’ve heard in a long time.

"Tackling childhood obesity is complicated – we need so many environmental changes.

"But with this letter, all political obstacles have been cleared for Theresa May and her cabinet to do the right thing. There are no more politics to hide behind, Britain is ready for the strategic, long-term obesity strategy its children deserve."

Oliver has long campaigned against junk food. This isn’t the first time he’s challenged the government to impose stricter rules.

In 2016, he talked of his disappointment – alongside other critics – at the government’s childhood obesity strategy. It had been delayed. Many thought it weak when it was finally published.

There have been steps taken. This month, the Sugar Tax has – in part – been brought in. The government is allegedly discussing further action.

Last week, Oliver launched his social media-led #AdEnough strategy. He asked people to show their support by covering their eyes in a selfie and use the hashtag.

We’ve called the Department of Health for a statement.

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