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Parties differ widely on obesity prevention

FOE (Fight the Obesity Epidemic)

Media Release, 23 October 2008

Parties differ widely on obesity prevention

Political parties standing in this election have some very different approaches to preventing obesity, according to a report just released by Fight the Obesity Epidemic (FOE). All parties in the current Parliament were asked four questions intended to elicit their views on some key issues. The Green, Māori, National, Progressive and UnitedFuture parties responded.

“Two parties stand out as having a clear picture of what is needed”, said FOE spokesperson Dr Robyn Toomath. “The Māori and Green parties both show that they understand the need for changes to the environment that is driving the obesity epidemic.”

“The Māori party, for example, says that relying on the food and beverages industry to make the required changes in the absence of government regulation is not appropriate.”

Both the Māori Party and the Greens want tight restrictions on advertising junk food to children on television, and a traffic lights food labelling system to guide shoppers as to healthy choices.

National, on the other hand, has no plans to change the status quo for either television advertising or food labels.

The report is available on the FOE website,


About FOE

FOE is a voluntary organisation working to stop and reverse the rise of obesity and type 2 diabetes in children. It is looking to change the social, cultural, physical and regulatory environment so that it is easier for all New Zealanders, especially children, to maintain a healthy body weight.

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