Jamie Oliver removes baking cartoon video after calling for ban on animated characters promoting unhealthy food

The chef recently gave evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee about childhood obesity

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 31 May 2018 12:07 BST

Jamie Oliver has removed a baking tutorial video from his YouTube channel that featured a cartoon after stating that he believes animated characters shouldn’t be used to promote unhealthy food.

The chef recently gave evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee of the House of Commons about the effect that the use of cartoons to marketing unhealthy food can have on childhood obesity.

He stated that although he is very fond of characters such as Tony the Tiger on Frosties cereal boxes, cartoons and superhero-like figures shouldn’t be used to “peddle rubbish”.

Oliver believes that cartoon characters should be utilised to encourage children to eat healthier alternatives to sugar-heavy cereals, such as porridge oats, Weetabix and Shreddies.

“You see newspapers going nuts about taking away Tony the Tiger. I love Tony as much as everyone else, but I would like to see aspirational figures that reel in our children, their eyes and their fantasy,” he said.

“I would like to see that used for good.”

The Health Committee concluded that the government must make stronger efforts to ban cartoon characters or TV and film characters from promoting products that are high in fat, sugar and salt.

Despite the good intentions of Oliver’s involvement in the issue of childhood obesity, it has come to light that he previously featured a cartoon character in a baking tutorial for muffins with a very high sugar content.

A Twitter user shared a screenshot from the 2015 video, in which Oliver can be seen making the muffins with an animated Moshi Monster.

The muffins contained 33.9g of sugar per serving. According to the NHS, an adult should consume no more than 30g of free sugars a day, while children aged seven to 10 shouldn’t consumer more than 24g.

For children aged four to six, it’s recommended that they consume less than 19g of sugar a day.

With this in mind, some have described Oliver’s stance on the use of cartoon characters for marketing as “hypocritical”.

While others have defended the chef, referencing the extensive work that he has done to promote healthy diets among children, the baking tutorial featuring the Moshi Monster has now been deleted from his YouTube channel following the controversy.

"This content, whilst a treat, should no longer be available on Food Tube. We have taken it down," a spokesperson for Jamie Oliver told The Independent.

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