Is Big Sugar the new Big Tobacco?

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A new Jamie Oliver one-hour documentary special airs at 9:00pm on Channel 4 tonight, titled 'Jamie’s Sugar Rush' it's part of the charismatic chief's new campaign to change both the public's attitude, and government policy towards the white stuff.

By all accounts - it's not a show for the squeamish as it begins with graphic footage of a tearful Jamie watching a six-year old getting rotted-teeth pulled under general anaesthetic, and works backwards from there.

 

 

Last Week Tonight, YouTube

While Mr Oliver recently admitted that his campaign to overhaul Britain's school dinners has been a failure, he is hoping that this campaign, which he has described as a "absolute war" on sugar, will get political backing.

He is calling for the imposition of a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in the UK - and has already met Prime Minister, David Cameron about the issue.

This documentary is part of a wider-discourse around the prevalence of sugar in 'Western' diets, and the role that lobby groups play in the regulating of the industry.

Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organisation has likened the food industry to the workings of the tobacco industry:

“It’s not just Big Tobacco any more, public health must also contend with Big Food, Big Soda and Big Alcohol. All of these industries fear regulation and protect themselves by using the same tactics, including lobbying lawsuits, promises of self-regulation and industry-funded research that confuses the evidence and keeps the public in doubt.”

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