Jamie Oliver has spent a lot of time advocating on behalf of kids, fighting for healthier school lunches and taxes on sugary drinks. Now the celebrity chef and health advocate is turning his attention to mothers.
In a letter to fans, posted in a tweet Friday, Oliver called on U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to make breastfeeding awareness and increasing the number of mothers in the U.K. who breastfeed a priority in Cameron's expected plan to combat childhood obesity.
"Childhood nutrition starts with supporting pregnant women properly, and I expect Mr. Cameron to also be including this in his childhood obesity strategy expected shortly," wrote Oliver.
I'm not planning on starting a campaign around breastfeeding. pic.twitter.com/vRGi1ud8By
— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) March 18, 2016
Oliver's tweet came with a disclaimer that the chef was not starting a formal campaign to advocate for increased breastfeeding. The former "amie Oliver's Food Revolution" host faced a backlash from many women in the U.K. following comments Oliver made on UK radio station LBC.
"We have the worst breastfeeding in the world. If you breastfeed for more than six months, women are 50 percent less likely to get breast cancer. When do you ever hear that? Never," Oliver argued at the time. "It's easy, it's more convenient, it's more nutritious, it's better, it's free."
Many women perceived Oliver's remarks as a lecture on what they should do with their bodies. Oliver devoted part of his letter to fans Friday to addressing the backlash against his initial comments.
"I understand that breastfeeding is often not easy and in some cases not even possible, but just wanted to support women who do breastfeed and make it easier for them to do so," said Oliver. "As a father and father-to-be, I would never wish to offend women or mums as I know how incredible they are and I would get a kicking when I got home."
The announcement of Cameron's plan to fight childhood obesity was recently postponed by the government until at least the summer. However, on Wednesday the U.K. did pass a new levy on sugary drinks, a victory for Oliver, who is a longtime advocate of the tax.