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Walk Away From Obesity

Walk Away From Obesity

The Minister of Health, David Cunliffe, said today in a media release that government is serious about tackling obesity and is adopting most of the recommendations made by the Health Select Committee on Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

“Obesity is a result of two factors – what we eat and how physically active we are,” says Liz Thomas, Director of Living Streets Aotearoa, a national organization which advocates for walking friendly communities.

“However, the recommendations deal mainly with eating rather than exercise. We believe that obesity needs to be tackled with a two-pronged approach – eating and exercise”.

“Getting people back on their feet for day-to-day journeys such as walking to school, to work, to the shops and to appointments is an essential part of fighting the obesity epidemic”.

The advent of motoring as a cheap, affordable transport option has led over recent years to towns and cities being built to accommodate cars rather than people. More roads have been built, the number of vehicles as well as their speed has increased, and pedestrians are often regarded as obstacles to the fast and efficient movement of cars.

The number of children walking to school has dropped dramatically since today’s parents and grandparents were children, because of concerns about safety.

“If the government is really serious about tackling obesity, as well as carbon emissions, air pollution and social disintegration, more money needs to be spent on reclaiming streets, improving walking environments and encouraging people to walk more as part of their daily routine,” says Ms Thomas. “Along with measures to improve nutrition, this would result in less obesity and a healthier, happier population.”


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