Celebrity chef and health campaigner Jamie Oliver has been recognised by RSPH for his work in advancing the cause of public health in the UK.

The winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Championing the Public’s Health Award was announced at the RSPH Awards 2016, the UK’s premier national health and wellbeing awards event, held at the Royal College of Surgeons in London on Thursday 27 October.

Jamie Oliver received the Award in recognition of both his high profile campaigning on childhood obesity and the on-the-ground community work of his Food Foundation.

His campaigning has been widely credited as having been key in pushing the government to introduce the sugar levy on soft drinks, a key pillar of action to tackle childhood obesity recommended by many public health organisations, including RSPH.

Meanwhile, the Food Foundation’s Ministry of Food Centres have seen great success in getting people in communities across the UK passionate about healthy food.

Jamie Oliver is also featured talking about his work on childhood obesity in RSPH’s new film, Championing the Public’s Health, which was premiered at the award ceremony. The film is a collaboration with ITN Productions which takes a topical look at current public health challenges and initiatives - watch Jamie's segment here.

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH, said: “Jamie is more than just a celebrity chef. He is a fantastically passionate, articulate and hard-working advocate for the public’s health. His campaigning has played a critical role in persuading the government to take the issue of childhood obesity seriously, and introduce a sugar levy on the soft drinks that are the source of so much of the problem. However, with the recent disappointment of the rest of the government’s childhood obesity plan, we know the war is far from won, and we hope this award will encourage him to continue to make his voice heard on the side of the public’s health.”

Receiving the award, Jamie Oliver said: “For me, the Royal Society for Public Health is one of the great organisations shining a light out there and doing amazing work to improve the public’s health, so I'm truly grateful to receive this prestigious award, it really means such a lot to me. Over the years, me and my Food Foundation have really tried to make a difference in the campaigns and initiatives that we have passionately driven to inform and inspire the UK public to have a voice and take part in positive change.

“This work can be very emotional and bumpy so I love this award. It's perfectly timed after the disappointment of the government's childhood obesity strategy, and a massive boost to keep us fired up and focused on relentlessly doing what we should do for child health.”