Jamie Oliver today called for drinking fountains to be installed across London as part of a drive to tackle obesity.
Launching his own manifesto for a healthier London, the TV chef and entrepreneur said the fountains would be a free alternative to sugary drinks.
He suggested restaurants should receive guidance on portion sizes and cooking oils, and that healthy establishments should get a tax incentive.
Oliver, 42, also wants Mayor Sadiq Khan to put food at the centre of his new health policies.
The chef said: “Right now, Londoners don’t have enough clarity about the way our food is made, sold, advertised or marketed. And that’s why we’re in trouble.
“Crucially, London needs to make it easier and cheaper for its businesses to sell healthy food so that consumers have a choice.”
In his “love letter” to Londoners, the chef is asking people to back his plans on social media by telling the Mayor healthier food should be at the heart of City Hall’s consultation on health, which ends next Thursday.
His wish list includes:
- Water fountains around the city.
- A tax system that encourages balanced, well-labelled menus.
- Ensuring two per cent of advertising on the Tube is about healthy eating.
- Establishing safe zones free of junk food adverts around schools.
- Following France’s lead with a levy on all junk food messaging.
- Encouraging schools to hire food officers.
Oliver said there are 8,622 takeaway shops in the capital, or one for every thousand Londoners.
He added: “Our city’s food environment is also compromising our health, shortening our kids’ life-expectancy, reducing productivity, costing taxpayers billions of pounds, crippling our healthcare service and widening the gap in our society.” The chef is asking people to tweet @MayorOfLondon saying: “I care about the health of Londoners PLS put food at the heart of your policy ideas for the future.”
A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “Sadiq welcomes Jamie’s calls to help all Londoners to lead healthier lives – a key focus of his work to tackle the city’s inequalities and improve the health of everyone living in the capital.
“The Mayor’s Healthy Schools London programme is already supporting almost 2,000 schools to promote healthy eating and the draft London Plan, published next week, will include measures to address the issue of hot food takeaways near schools, as well as installing water fountains where possible.
“A core focus of the Mayor’s health inequalities strategy will be a call to all parts of London – businesses, the NHS, London’s boroughs and Londoners – to help make London one of the world’s healthiest cities.”