The renowned chef is known for advocating healthier eating habits in his shows and bestselling books.
He is also known for the work he’s done for children’s nutrition and school lunch reform in the U.K.
But his recent interview LBC radio where he shares his views on breastfeeding (as a result of his nutrition studies) has sparked controversy.
“Probably the most upsetting thing for me at the moment, and I’m desperately trying to scrabble around to get more information on it, is breastfeeding. We have the worst breastfeeding in the world,” said Jamie, referring to low breastfeeding rates in the U.K.
“If you breastfeed for more than six months, women are 50 per cent less likely to get breast cancer. When do you ever hear that? Never. We need women to do it more,” he added.
This irked many moms for a variety of reasons. For starters: Though many agree that it is a wonderful experience if women choose it, the last thing moms need is a “man preaching about it”.
“It’s easy, it’s more convenient, it’s more nutritious, it’s better, it’s free,” continued Jamie.
Though he does make valid points. This understandably did not sit well with the radio show’s mom listeners.
And him somewhat declaring breastfeeding better alienated bottle feeding moms.
Many felt that Jamie overlooked how difficult breastfeeding can be for many moms: cracked, bleeding nipples, waking up every hour to feed your newborn, struggling when your child just won’t latch–these are just a few hurdles breastfeeding moms face.
It’s neither easy nor convenient. And it’s not in his place to declare it’s better than bottle feeding.
Jamie has yet again fired up an ongoing debate that’s constantly brewing.
How did he respond to the backlash? Find out on the next page
Jamie’s response to the backlash
A few days after his radio show appearance, the dad of four aired his side by way of a lengthy tweet.
“I understand that breastfeeding is often not easy and in some cases not even possible,” he wrote. “But just wanted to support women who do want to breastfeed and make it easier for them to do so.”
He clarified that launching a new health campaign was not his intent but that breastfeeding was “simply an area of interest” for him.
“As a father and father-to-be,” he continues, confirming that he and wife Jools are expecting their fifth child. “I would never wish to offend women or mums as I knows [sic] how incredible they are and I would get a kicking when I got home!”
Jamie with wife Jools and kids Daisy, Poppy, Petal, and Buddy (photo: Mirror UK)
READ: Mom responds to breastfeeding backlash with the perfect photo
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