News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Snapshot Of Health A Grim Picture

MEDIA RELEASE
3 December 2003

Press Release

Snapshot Of Health A Grim Picture

The results of “A Snapshot of Health” report released by the Ministry of Health today again highlight overweight and obesity as a major problem in New Zealand.

More than fifty percent of the adult population is overweight. Twenty percent are obese.

One in 5 people report having high blood pressure, 1 in 7 high blood cholesterol levels and/or cardiovascular disease. Almost 1 in 10 report having diabetes, 1 in 3 have arthritis and 1 in 3 back pain. All of these problems can be caused, or exacerbated, by being overweight and obese.

Only half of adults are physically active for 30 minutes on most days as recommended and only around 4 out of 10 eat the recommended 5 servings a day of fruit and vegetables.

“New Zealanders need to eat better and be more physically active if they are to avoid getting these degenerative diseases as they age,” says Celia Murphy, Executive Director of the Obesity Action Coalition.

“It is not all that surprising that so many people are getting fat and unwell when you see that only half of adults get enough regular physical activity and so few eat the recommended number of fruit and vegetables a day.

“It is not just a matter of telling people to eat better and be more active, we need to change the way we live, our attitudes to food and activity and make it easier to do the right thing. Labour saving devices, reliance on cars for transport and sedentary leisure activities mean that we just don’t use up enough energy anymore.”

Ms Murphy says that this, combined with a food system which supplies a large range of high fat, high sugar foods and drinks that are more visible than better foods, makes it so hard for people to make the right healthy choices.

“The easy availability of the high fat and high sugar foods and the constant advertising of them leave people believing that it is normal to consume these foods regularly when they should be rare treats,” Ms Murphy says.

“There is no single solution to obesity and success in reducing the incidence of overweight and obesity and the associated illnesses will only come when government starts to take this problem seriously. It needs adequate funding and a high level collaborative approach.

“Changes must happen in our food supply system so healthy foods are more affordable and visible, schools, transport systems, the design of our urban areas, the hospitality industry, the media and our social welfare systems. Government must take this seriously and show leadership to encourage a multi-faceted attack on this problem. The economic and social costs of not acting now are really frightening.” says Ms Murphy.

ENDS


The Obesity Action Coalition represents 60 organisations focused on health, nutrition and physical activity as well as Maori and Pacific health groups all interested in addressing the growing problem of obesity and its related health issues.

Its role is to advocate for a wide range of initiatives including government policy, regulations and legislation that will positively influence obesity rates.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
K Emma Ng's Old Asian, New Asian

This book, written by a young second-generation Chinese New Zealander, gives many examples of the racism that Asian New Zealanders experience. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION