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Do-Gooder Jamie Oliver Says Sugar Should be Taxed Like Tobacco

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He wants the UK to tax sugar-filled drinks.

Jamie Oliver, probably thinking about how much he hates sugar.
Jamie Oliver, probably thinking about how much he hates sugar.
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

World-saving chef Jamie Oliver's latest campaign involves toppling the evil sugar empire. The chef reportedly feels the UK ought to follow France's lead and tax sugary beverages, telling the Daily Mail that sugar is "definitely the next evil. It’s the next tobacco."

"... It should be taxed, just like tobacco and anything else that can, frankly, destroy lives," Oliver is quoted as saying, also reportedly "ranting about what he perceives to be the stranglehold companies like Coca-Cola have on impoverished nations." While soda taxes have yet to become commonplace in the U.S., at least one American city has hopped on board: Last November voters in Berkeley, California approved a measure for a one-cent-per-ounce tax on everything from sugary lattes to energy drinks.

Oliver is somewhat of a poster boy (or is that poster Hobbit?) for wholesome and radical change in the food industry: He's well-known for campaigning for healthy school lunches in both the UK and America, though not all his ventures are altruistic. He also happens to be one of the wealthiest men in England, with a net worth estimated at nearly $400 million thanks to a growing restaurant empire and his own lines of frozen food and cookware.

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