Food businesses could be damaged by 'scaremongering campaigns'

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Nigel Brown: "We had obesity in this country 20 years ago, we have it now and we’ll probably have it 10 years from now"
Nigel Brown: "We had obesity in this country 20 years ago, we have it now and we’ll probably have it 10 years from now"

Related tags: Nutrition

Pub food operators’ businesses could be damaged by “scaremongering” campaigns such as Jamie Oliver’s recent sugar tax campaign, a Yorkshire chef has claimed. 

Chef, author and cookery teacher Nigel Brown recently launched a new campaign on Twitter, called #EatWhatYouLike, hitting back at celebrity chefs and government bodies for imposing too many rules on people about what to eat for fear of guilt.

He said: “It definitely has the potential to damage businesses. Particularly pub restaurants, where the majority of the food served is bacon, chips, chicken Kievs – the kind of things people want when they go out for a meal."

Nigel Brown:

All the money they’re putting into these campaigns is doing nothing - people will still make their own informed choices and decisions

He pointed to the smoking ban as a previous example of government legislation affecting business for the on-trade.

Revenue

“If people are conscious because the government are saying ‘don’t eat too much sugary food’ then there’s your desserts revenue gone for a start.”

Jamie Oliver’s recent campaign to introduce a tax on sugar was the straw that broke the camel’s back, he said.

“Over the years we’ve had all these scares and it just gets to the point where we’re swamped with all this information and don’t know which way to turn – it’s time to take control of our own lives, eat what we like and live life to the full.”

More important issues

He added that there were more important issues to be dealt with and that the monetary cost of many healthy eating campaigns would be better spent elsewhere.

“We had obesity in this country 20 years ago, we have it now and we’ll probably have it 10 years from now,” he said.

“All the money they’re putting into these campaigns is doing nothing – people will still make their own informed choices and decisions. I understand they need to be seen to be doing something but I think they need to tame it back a bit.”

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