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


Health groups call on Govt. to act against obesity

Health groups call on Government to act against obesity

The Obesity Action Coalition and the Public Health Association are calling for the Government to take concrete steps towards reducing New Zealand's epidemic of obesity.

The call is being made in the wake of the launch today by the Cancer Society of an international report linking obesity with six forms of cancer. It comes after a recent Ministry of Health report showed more than 50 percent of New Zealanders are obese or overweight.

"The evidence from the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research study is quite clear that only a small proportion of cancers are due to genetics and it is environmental factors which have been found to be more important. These are also the ones that, given commitment, can be modified," says Leigh Sturgiss, Director of the Obesity Action Coalition.

"The Government must now commit itself to radically altering New Zealand's obesogenic culture, to prevent related diseases such as cardiovascular conditions and type 2 diabetes crushing an ever-pressured health system."

The Director of the Public Health Association, Dr Gay Keating says studies have shown that for many, obesity is not a sign of eating too well but a sign of eating high-fat, high-sugar, low-nutrient, processed food that is cheap.

"There are low income neighbourhoods where it is difficult to buy healthy foods, where fast food outlets predominate and where there is a lack of green spaces to exercise."

Dr Keating and Ms Sturgiss are calling for the Government to make healthy food more affordable.

"Removing the GST on fruit and vegetables, providing healthy food vouchers to low income New Zealanders, and a 'traffic light' labeling system on food so shoppers can easily identify nutritious products would repay the Government many times over in reduced health costs," says Dr Keating.

"The Government needs to ensure that there are regulations around television advertising of junk food aimed at children," says Leigh Sturgiss. "It is also vital the Government responds to the Health Select Committee report into obesity and type 2 diabetes at the end of November with conviction. The report's targets must be met to reduce obesity in children and youth, and narrow the present ethnic gaps in childhood obesity by 2015 so the rates are equally low in all ethnic groups."


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi.

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>


New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>


CDF Tim Keating: NZ Somme Centenary

"Our generals also knew what to expect, and they built that knowledge into their planning. Each of the four set-piece attacks was fought with a single brigade, with the expectation that the brigade would be used up. A fresh brigade would then be brought up to conduct the next set-piece..." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news