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Jamie Oliver declares “absolute war” on sugar, urging tax on sugary drinks

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Gloves are off for Naked Chef

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is stepping up his battle against sugar-laden foods and drinks and has launched a petition urging the government to introduce a sugar tax.

Oliver’s volley comes ahead of the airing of a new programme he is fronting called Sugar Rush, in which Oliver examines the damage done to children through sugar-rich diets.

The petition is aiming for 100,000 signatories and Oliver says that the introduction of a sugar tax could raise £1bn a year which could help tackle childhood obesity and related diseases including diabetes.

According to the Department of Health, sugar makes up 12% of an average adult’s daily calorie intake, well above double the recommended 5%.

A single 288ml carton of Ribena contains the entire 5% whack in one go, according to the FT.

But Oliver’s demands have sparked a small backlash after obesity groups said that Oliver’s own Italian restaurants don’t publish the sugar content in their dishes. However, a spokesperson said that new nutrition information will be introduced from October.

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