Jamie Oliver attacks food choices of poor families

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has said he finds it 'hard to talk' about modern-day poverty when he comes across families on low incomes who live on junk food but spend money on expensive TV sets.

Oliver was being interviewed by the Radio Times magazine about his forthcoming television project, which he hopes will encourage healthy eating by people on modest incomes.

Oliver said: 'I'm not judgmental, but I've spent a lot of time in poor communities, and I find it quite hard to talk about modern-day poverty. You might remember that scene in Ministry of Food [a previous series], with the mum and the kid eating chips and cheese out of Styrofoam containers, and behind them is a massive fucking TV. It just didn't weigh up'.

Imran Hussain, Head of Policy for the Child Poverty Action Group, responded: 'For many families it's low income which gets in the way of healthy eating. As official statistics show, parents of poor children are much less likely to be able to afford fresh fruit for their children. We also know from the evidence that as the incomes of poor families rise, they spend more on things like healthy food and children's clothes'.

Source: Interview by Jamie Oliver with Radio Times, 24-30 August
LinksCPAG press release | NEF blog post | Guardian report | Telegraph report

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