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Karen Throsby

In one of the earliest scenes of the TV documentary Jamie’s Sugar Rush , celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is filmed visiting St George’s Hospital in London, where six-year-old Mario, a small Black boy clutching a soft toy, is being anaesthetised to have six teeth removed. 1 We are told that he brushes his teeth every day, but that he has a weakness for sugary drinks, which have irreparably rotted his teeth. Dressed in surgical scrubs and passing looks of wide-eyed horror at the camera, Oliver watches as the boy

in Sugar rush
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Karen Throsby

In his budget speech on 16 March 2016, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced plans to introduce a Soft Drinks Industry Levy – colloquially known as the ‘sugar tax’. Anti-sugar and anti-obesity campaigners were jubilant, and Jamie Oliver was reported in The Sunday Times as having ‘parked his Vespa on Parliament Square and strolled towards a scrum of television cameras’ before removing his helmet to reveal ‘a toothy grin’ and dancing ‘a jig of joy’ for the watching press. 1 Both his presence

in Sugar rush
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The culture of free trade versus the culture of anti-slavery in Britain and the British Caribbean, 1840–50
Philip Harling

One might well say that Britain lost its soul to its sweet tooth in 1846. For in that year of the cheap sugar loaf as well as the cheap bread loaf, the House of Commons by a comfortable majority slated for execution the protective duties that had long given British Caribbean sugar a huge advantage in the home market. Before 1833 those duties had of course protected a slave-based system of

in The cultural construction of the British world
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Karen Throsby

This will not be fun at first. But starting is half the battle. Hold the line. There is no moderation. You have stopped poisoning yourself. If you can just get past the next few weeks of danger, you will enjoy the health sugar has sucked from your life to date. Then, all of a sudden, your desire for sugar will vanish. I know it will sound strange, but it just goes. Bang! 1 In the previous chapter, I explored sugar’s designation as hidden and the ways in which

in Sugar rush
Open Access (free)
Sabine Clarke

later, a crowd attacked Government House in Bridgetown, Barbados. Four days of unrest followed across the sugar estates of the island, including attacks on shops and lorries and instances of arson, and the Royal Navy were called again. The next year, police fired on a group of protestors at a sugar estate in Frome, Jamaica, leading to a period of violence in the colony. This time the British government responded by appointing a Royal Commission, headed by Lord Moyne, to investigate the conditions that had provoked Caribbean populations to protest on such a scale

in Science at the end of empire
Constructing imperial identity through Liverpool petition struggles
Joshua Civin

LIVERPOOL PETITIONS AND IMPERIAL IDENTITY 10 Slaves, sati and sugar: constructing imperial identity through Liverpool petition struggles Joshua Civin In 1833, the Liverpool Times reported: ‘The most illustrious of the Dicky Sams, the Magnates of the Town Hall and of the ’Change, have been dancing attendance on still greater men from the opening of the Session.’ Lobbying was not restricted to ‘Liverpool grandees’. In addition, ‘a host of tar jackets and freemen’ testified before parliamentary committees.1 This intensive lobbying shows the lengths to which

in Parliaments, nations and identities in Britain and Ireland, 1660–1850
Karen Throsby

‘We are eating too much sugar and it is bad for our health’ In 2015, Public Health England (PHE) released heavily trailed and controversially delayed guidance on sugar reduction. The opening sentence declared: ‘we are eating too much sugar and it is bad for our health’. 1 The guidance revised the upper limits of recommended sugar consumption from 10% of total dietary energy to 5%. The campaign Change4Life, funded by the National Health Service (NHS), subsequently translated this into the more legible

in Sugar rush
Andrea Stuart

10 Writing Sugar in the Blood Andrea Stuart In March 2003, just after my second book was published, I was on holiday in my family’s villa in Barbados. Aware that I had an interest in family history, my uncle Trevor (now dead) brought Carlisle Bourne, a distant cousin, to visit. After some awkward introductions – my newly excavated relative was an intensely shy man – we convened around a table on the shady patio overlooking the pink and orange bougainvillea, in the stifling heat of the midday sun. Bourne, whom I had never met before and have never seen since

in Emancipation and the remaking of the British imperial world
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Science, politics and the demonisation of fatness
Series: Inscriptions
Author:

In the second decade of the twenty-first century, the crusade against sugar rose to prominence as an urgent societal problem about which something needed to be done. Sugar was transformed into the common enemy in a revived ‘war on obesity’ levelled at ‘unhealthy’ foods and the people who enjoy them. Are the evils of sugar based on purely scientific fact, or are other forces at play? Sugar rush explores the social life of sugar in its rise to infamy. The book reveals how competing understandings of the ‘problem’ of sugar are smoothed over through appeals to science and the demonisation of fatness, with politics and popular culture preying on our anxieties about what we eat. Drawing on journalism, government policy, public health campaigns, self-help books, autobiographies and documentaries, the book argues that this rush to blame sugar is a phenomenon of its time, finding fertile ground in the era of austerity and its attendant inequalities. Inviting readers to resist the comforting certainties of the attack on sugar, Sugar rush shows how this actually represents a politics of despair, entrenching rather than disrupting the inequality-riddled status quo.

Karen Throsby

In Jamie’s Sugar Rush , Jamie Oliver visits London’s Royal Free Hospital, where he meets patients whose type 2 diabetes has led to foot amputation. Like the dental scene that opens the film, this scene includes graphic footage, showing healing post-amputation stumps; Oliver comments that ‘it all feels quite medieval to me’. Immediately after the hospital scene, with the images still fresh in our minds, Oliver goes to meet Becky – a fifteen-year-old mixed-race girl who lives with her white mother and who has had

in Sugar rush