Food Trends

Jamie Oliver charging sugary drink fee in restaurants

Jamie Oliver is taking a stand against sugary drinks.

Jamie Oliver is taking a stand against sugary drinks.  (AP Photo)

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is joining the war on sugary drinks by imposing an extra fee on every drink with added sugar being served in his 30 plus restaurants.

According to the Nottingham Post, sodas and other sweet drinks will come with a 10 pence ($.16) additional charge on the top of the menu price.

"I've seen first-hand the heart-breaking effects that poor diet and too much sugar is having on our children's health and futures,” Oliver said. "Soft drinks are the biggest single source of sugar among school-age kids and teenagers and so we have to start here."

The chef says the new fee will raise about raise £80,000 ($126,657) over the next year and plans to donate the money to Sustain, a charity that advocates for better food and farming policies that “enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, enrich society and culture and promote equity.”

Government-imposed taxes on sodas and sugary drinks have stirred controversy. In November, Berkeley became the first U.S. city to pass a soda tax and now collects a one-cent-per-ounce surcharge on drinks. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted ban on large-size sugary beverages was blocked by a New York state judge. 

Oliver, who says he does not allow his four children to consume fizzy or sugary drinks, hopes the new policy in his restaurants will send an important message to U.K. officials about taking action on rising childhood obesity rates throughout the country.

"I truly believe that by joining together on this issue, we not only send a powerful and strong message to government but we also have the potential to make a long lasting legacy that could ripple across the world,” Oliver said.