A new documentary by Jamie Oliver in which he urges the government to reduce the nation’s sugar intake is aired tonight.

In Sugar Rush, which is shown at 9pm on Channel 4, he says the show aims to touch on “the devastating effects of sugar on our health, especially the health of our kids”.

In the documentary he will examine the link between diet-related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and increased sugar consumption. The programme is expected to show that soft drinks are the largest single source of sugar for youngsters.

Sugar tax

Oliver is now campaigning for a 20p per litre ‘sugar tax’ on all soft drinks with added sweetener – which he says could reduce obesity levels by up to 200,000 and raise £1bn a year to combat diet-related diseases.

The show by Oliver is the latest in a long line of attacks on sugar and the food industry in recent years. And it comes just a week after The Bridgethorne Shopper Index, a quarterly survey of shopper opinions, found that 49.2% of respondents ranked sugar as most concerning, compared to 44% for fat content and 41.6% for additives. More than a quarter (28.2%) cited the fact that sugar caused health problems as their principal concern.

  • For the baking industry’s reaction to the new Jamie Oliver show see this week’s issue of British Baker