Jamie Oliver has been criticised for featuring ‘Moshi Monsters’ in an old video for a muffin recipe, as he has been supporting a campaign to against using cartoon characters to encourage children to eat unhealthy food.
The TV chef, who has become known for campaigning for the sugar tax and calling for junk food ads to be banned, had a video on his YouTube channel from 9 April 2015 showing how to make ‘Moshi Monster Muffins’, featuring the cartoon character Furi.
Twitter user Daniel Pryor took a screenshot of the video and recipe, and showed that - per serving - the butternut squash muffins contained 33.9g of sugar - more than an adult is recommended to consume in a day - as well as 436 calories and 22.8g of fat. The butternut squash muffins were advertised as a “perfect afternoon treat”.
Oliver’s team has since removed the video from his website and YouTube but it still shows up in Google when you search.
When contacted by HuffPost UK, a spokesperson for Jamie Oliver said: “This content, whilst a treat, should no longer be available on Food Tube. We have taken it down.”
People reacted on Twitter by calling the chef a “hypocrite”.
On 30 May, a group of MPs said cartoon characters, such as ‘Tony the Tiger’ of Kelloggs Frosties fame, should no longer be used to promote unhealthy food. The health select committee said there should be a ban on “brand-generated characters or licensed TV and film characters” including the Honey Monster and Nestle’s Milky Bar Kid, as part of their childhood obesity report.
Oliver gave evidence to the committee on 30 May and said, according to iNews, that cartoons and superheroes should not be used to “peddle rubbish”. “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.”
Supporting the childhood obesity report, Oliver also wrote on Twitter: “The Committee are absolutely right. Government needs to launch a multi-pronged strategy that pulls every lever to help support better outcomes for kids. We need to make healthier food cheaper & more easily available. Theresa May needs to own this. The future of the NHS is at stake.”