Jamie Oliver storms Downing Street with Eton Mess anti-obesity protest

The chef showed off his giant Eton Mess outside Downing Street

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Jamie Oliver has stormed Downing Street with his Eton Mess protesters to demand the government changes its anti-obesity strategy.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s, who were once fronted by Oliver, have committed to the original Government deadlines to change how unhealthy foods are promoted in their stores, despite legislation being pushed back by a year.

Tesco said it will remove multi-buy promotions food which are high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS products) by the end of October.

The celebrity chef praised supermarket Tesco for pledging to ban two-for- one deals on junk food from October 2022 – a policy the Government has postponed for a year – to cheers from around 100 supporters.

Jamie Oliver outside Downing Street
Jamie Oliver outside Downing Street

When asked whether his campaign is out of touch at a time when families are increasingly struggling to put food on the table, Oliver said: “This whole strategy was designed by the Government and has been researched by the Government proves that this particular mechanic (two for one deals on junk food) makes people spend more of their income and waste more.

“And actually if you look at what Tesco said today, they are going to continue on discounts (but on) healthier and sustainable (food).

“They’ve set the tone and I’m sure others will follow.

“We want to put child health first, the strategy was looking world class and now it doesn’t.

“It’s our job to put it all back together again and make sure that we can build a better future for our kids.”

Changes to these promotions, such as buy-one-get-one-free, were due to go ahead this year but are now expected to be pushed back to October 2023.

A ban on TV adverts for HFSS food and drink before a 9pm watershed has also been put on hold for 12 months.

Tesco chief customers officer Alessandra Bellini said: “At Tesco, we passionately believe that healthier food should be more accessible to everyone, no matter your budget – and today’s announcement is a key step towards that.

“With more than eight in 10 people reporting a rise in their cost of living, value is the number one factor that drives choice in our stores.

“We will always make sure our products are competitively priced, but we can’t stop there.

Chef Jamie Oliver takes part in the What An Eton Mess demonstration outside Downing Street
Chef Jamie Oliver takes part in the What An Eton Mess demonstration outside Downing Street

“Obesity levels are rising among adults and children and the health of our nation must also be at the top of our agenda.”

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s said it has already axed multibuy offers after changing its promotion strategy six years ago.

It stressed that it will continue to push forward with curbs on unhealthy products despite changes to the Government’s original proposals.

Chef Jamie Oliver takes part in the What An Eton Mess demonstration outside Downing Street
Chef Jamie Oliver takes part in the What An Eton Mess demonstration outside Downing Street

We know our customers in communities across the country are a facing a cost-of-living crisis and want to continue to provide healthy, nutritious food for their families,” Mark Given, chief marketing officer at Sainsbury’s, said.

“Sainsbury’s is dedicated to making healthy choices more affordable and over the last year nearly 60% of our promotions were on healthier or ‘better for you’ choices.

“We are committed to continuing to follow the Government’s original HFSS promotional timelines and call on the rest of the industry to do the same.”