Rishi Sunak has pushed back against a suggestion by the head of a food watchdog that people should not bring cake into the office for the sake of their colleagues’ health.
The Prime Minister believes in “personal choice” and that people should be allowed to share treats with their colleagues, Downing Street said.
It came after Professor Susan Jebb, chairwoman of the Food Standards Agency, appeared to compare bringing cake into the office with passive smoking.
Asked whether Mr Sunak agrees, his official spokesman said: “No. The Prime Minister believes that personal choice should be baked into our approach.
“We want to encourage healthy lifestyles and are taking action to tackle obesity, which has cost the NHS £6 billion annually.
“However, the way to deal with this issue is not to stop people from occasionally bringing in treats for their co-workers.”
Mr Sunak’s press secretary added that he is “very partial to a piece of cake” and most enjoys carrot and red velvet cake.
No 10 even distributed mini-cupcakes to reporters during the presser in Parliament.
Ms Jebb said that while it is a choice to eat sweet treats, people can help each other by providing a “supportive environment”.
She told The Times: “We all like to think we’re rational, intelligent, educated people who make informed choices the whole time, and we undervalue the impact of the environment.
“If nobody brought cakes into the office, I would not eat cakes in the day, but because people do bring cakes in, I eat them. Now, OK, I have made a choice, but people were making a choice to go into a smoky pub.
“With smoking, after a very long time we have got to a place where we understand that individuals have to make some effort but that we can make their efforts more successful by having a supportive environment.
“We still don’t feel like that about food.”
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