Home Health Prue Leith slams junk food ‘cartel’ for fuelling Britain’s ‘unstoppable’ obesity crisis and criticises ministers for not restricting sale of biscuits, cakes and crisps

Prue Leith slams junk food ‘cartel’ for fuelling Britain’s ‘unstoppable’ obesity crisis and criticises ministers for not restricting sale of biscuits, cakes and crisps

0 comment
Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith called the junk food industry a

Prue Leith has claimed the junk food industry is a “cartel” that is “winning the war” on British diets.

The Great British Bake Off judge has criticized ministers for taxing junk food rather than restricting its sale.

And he warned that the country faces an “unstoppable trend” towards greater obesity.

Noting that Britain is the “third fattest nation in Europe”, restaurateur Prue criticized the government for lacking “the bottle” to execute a plan to reverse the effects of junk food.

The 84-year-old said that while some government task forces are “trying to change things”, the Treasury is “happier” when sugary foods are consumed because they are subject to tax.

Prue Leith slams junk food cartel for fuelling Britains unstoppable

Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith has branded the junk food industry a “cartel” that is “winning the war” in the UK.

Your browser does not support iframes.

In an article in The Oldie magazine, Prue said: “We are the third fattest nation in Europe.

‘Only 10 percent of us cook with fresh food at home, thousands of homes lack kitchens, half of children who reach primary school cannot use a knife and fork.

“Diet-related diseases kill more people than smoking.”

Prue said she is “optimistic and activist by nature,” but feels like she is losing the fight.

“With me are thousands of dieticians, writers, chefs, charities, government task forces, think tanks and companies trying to change things,” he added.

‘Two years ago, Henry Dimbleby wrote a report for Defra, recommending a viable comprehensive plan to turn the tide.


Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height.

Standard formula:

  • BMI = (weight in pounds / (height in inches x height in inches)) x 703

Metric formula:

  • BMI = (weight in kilograms / (height in meters x height in meters))


  • Under 18.5: Under weight
  • 18.5 – 24.9: Healthy
  • 25 – 29.9: Over weight
  • 30 – 39.9: Obese
  • 40+: Morbid obesity

“Needless to say, the government was missing the bottle to move forward.”

Leon’s founder, Mr Dimbleby, was the lead non-executive board member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from March 2018 to March 2023.

During his tenure, he produced an independent review of the food system that included a number of recommendations, including a reformulation of the sugar and salt tax.

Seven in ten men and six in ten women in England are overweight or obese and almost 4 million people in the UK live with type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, one in six children leaves primary school with rotten teeth, and cavities remain the most common reason for hospital admission in children aged 6 to 10.

Prue said: “Yes, individual charities such as Chefs in Schools, Sustain and Food for Life do immense good, but they cannot overcome the unstoppable trend towards more junk food, more obesity and overall poor health.”

The restaurant owner said the “unholy conspiracy” we’re all caught up in is that “junk food is almost irresistible.”

He added: “Anything fried tastes great and we are programmed to love sugar, salt, fat and high-calorie foods.”

‘And ultra-processed foods – almost all manufactured products – tend to be bland, easy to eat and quite addictive.

Your browser does not support iframes.

Your browser does not support iframes.

‘We eat it quickly and immediately want more. Manufacturers know this and exploit it.’

Prue admitted that junk food is “cheap to make and cheap to buy”, highlighting how in the UK we spend “less per capita on food” than any other European country.

He continued: ‘Our government, which does not want to act as the nanny state, taxes foods high in sugar rather than restricting their sale.

“The more chocolate, ice cream and Coca-Cola we consume, the happier Hacienda is.”

What’s more, Prue said, the “anxious public” is consequently fueling a “tsunami” of “supplements, diet books, health gurus, slimming products, diet regimens, personal trainers, surgical procedures, gyms, machines.” of exercise and other magic solutions.

And he added: ‘Millions of people make a living from obesity.

‘Even doctors depend on diet-related disorders for a good chunk of their income.

And I get paid to write about it. I hate to admit it, but this unwitting cartel is winning the war.

You may also like