Julia and health chief clash over ‘state-controlled supermarkets’

Friday, July 26, 2019

Julia Hartley-Brewer has clashed with a health chief over the idea of 'state-controlled supermarkets' to boost healthy eating.

The spat followed the Royal Society for Public Health's chief executive, Shirley Cramer, calling for stores to "impose" healthier foods on shoppers by giving nutritious produce more shelf-space than unhealthy products.

“We know that 26 per cent of adults are obese, we’ve got an increasing number of children who are overweight and obese…we have to look at everything, the choices we make and the environment in which we are," she explained.

But Julia interjected: “Why can’t people just simply make their own choices?”

Ms Cramer replied: “All we’re saying is there ought to be some guiding principles for the supermarkets which include greater allocation of shelf space to healthier products."

The breakfast show host said the idea was "communist Russia stuff", and that there was "no need for Public Health to get involved".

"So you want state control of where private enterprises, where people owning shops, have to put food so that people will buy what you consider to be 'the right food' – I mean, are you serious? Because this is communist Russia stuff!" she said.

“You’re dictating how many aisles of crisps there can be and how many aisles of spinach and lettuce.”

Desite Julia's critiques of the idea, Ms Cramer said Britain was the "fattest country in Europe" and that something had to be done.

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