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PHA urges support of obesity petition

PHA urges support of obesity petition

24 January 2006

The Public Health Association (PHA) is putting its support behind a petition that calls for Parliament to take action to help reduce the amount of junk food that our children eat. The petition has been launched by Fight the Obesity Epidemic Inc (FOE), a voluntary organisation whose spokesperson is Wellington endocrinologist Robyn Toomath.

PHA Director Dr Gay Keating says that one-third of New Zealand children are now overweight or obese, and the time is overdue for serious measures to turn this around.

“This is a not a problem that will go away with some tinkering here and there. It needs a strong and immediate response from Government.

“The petition asks that Parliament prevents the sale in schools of food or drink products high in sugar, fat or salt, and with low nutritional value, bans advertisements of such products during children’s television programmes, and conducts a Parliamentary inquiry into other actions needed to prevent obesity.

“This level of intervention is necessary if we are to reverse the trend of growing numbers of our children having to experience serious health problems including Type 2 diabetes as a result of obesity.”

Dr Keating says that a large number of signatures will show decision makers just how concerned the public health community is about rising obesity rates.

She urges concerned individuals to sign the petition, which is available on FOE’s website, www.foe.org.nz.

ENDS

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