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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’.
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.
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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.’