Jamie Oliver, the vanquisher of the turkey twizzler, is back on his campaign against childhood obesity. At a meeting with the celebrity chef earlier this May, Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon set out her plans to cut child obesity in half by 2030.
Details of the Scottish government’s plans will be published later this summer, but Sturgeon said they will particularly target two-for-one deals and adverts on unhealthy food. “We will tackle junk food promotions and the marketing of unhealthy food such as multi-buys that encourage overconsumption,” she said at a press event announcing the initiative. Earlier this month London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced his own plans to ban junk food adverts from Tube stations and buses.
But these campaigners are missing the bigger picture. We are facing a dual crisis of both obesity and food poverty. And these two are just symptoms of a much more pervasive poverty, a poorly functioning economy and a government that has failed to help people with low incomes.
Although obesity appears to be income-agnostic, policies intended to tackle unhealthy eating will disproportionately impact the working poor and those in receipt of welfare. In both these groups, food poverty and obesity are higher than in the general population.
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