Jamie Oliver says poverty-stricken obese Brits eat badly because they think ‘in a different gear’

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Jamie Oliver said lectures on healthy eating would not work on the obese poor (Rex)

Obese poor people eat unhealthy food because they think in a ‘different gear’, according to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

The campaigner claims that advice about how to eat healthily will not help those who are disadvantaged because it is ‘middle-class logic’.

Oliver said that poorer parents are not concerned about five portions of fruit and veg a day as they are instead ‘thinking about enough food for the day’.

The celebrity chef hit out at adverts promoting unhealthy foods (Rex)

He told The Times: ‘Willpower is a very unique personal thing… We can’t judge our equivalent of logic on theirs because they’re in a different gear, almost in a different country.’

Oliver acknowledged that his desire to banish ‘cr*p’ made him unpopular in deprived areas – but he dismissed claims he wanted a ‘nanny state’.

He is now calling on London mayor Sadiq Khan to ban junk food adverts on Tube trains, and lashed out at cheap, unhealthy food.


Oliver said: ‘If you can only buy cr*p, you only eat cr*p. And if only cr*p is discounted and Bogof’d [buy one get one free] that’s what we tend to sway to.’

Lifestyle economics head at the Institute of Economic Affairs Christopher Snowdon said ‘the anti-obesity crusade is largely a patronising upper middle-class reform movement’.

He added: ‘It is bordering on the offensive to claim that people on low incomes have no willpower.’