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

 


Progress on healthy food policies under the microscope

Media Release - University of Auckland

27th September 2013 - For immediate use

Progress on healthy food policies under the microscope
The escalating obesity epidemic has led an international group of nutrition researchers to focus on measuring how much progress countries are making in implementing healthy food policies.


Progress on healthy food policies under the microscope

The escalating obesity epidemic has led an international group of nutrition researchers to focus on measuring how much progress countries are making in implementing healthy food policies.

“No country has reversed the obesity epidemic, in part because widely-recommended healthy food policies have not been fully implemented,” says Boyd Swinburn, Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health from theUniversity of Auckland.

“Researchers have documented the increasing obesity problem for several decades and it is long overdue to start documenting how well the agreed solutions are being applied and what effect policies are having on the food landscape.”

Experts agree that the main driver of high obesity rates is the widespread availability of cheap, tasty, unhealthy food that is heavily marketed, he says.

“The surprising thing is that very few countries are able to describe what the food landscape looks like in their country,” says Professor Swinburn. “We currently can’t answer basic questions like, ‘What foods are for sale in which areas?’, ‘What is the nutrition content of those foods?’, ‘Which food are advertised the most?’, and ‘How does the price of unhealthy foods compare to the price of healthy foods?”.

The new group of nine university groups and five global non-government organisations, called INFORMAS, plans to monitor food environments all around the world so that these important questions can be answered.

This week, the INFORMAS group launched their plans at the International Congress of Nutrition in Granada, Spain, accompanied by the publication of a series of papers in the journal Obesity Reviews that outlines the group’s approach to monitoring all the important aspects of the food landscape.

The INFORMAS monitoring program will commence next year in several pilot countries, including New Zealand. The researchers will also identify those countries which have the healthiest food policies and use them as international benchmarks against which to assess national progress towards best practice.

“Some countries have made good progress in getting policies like healthy school food implemented, but many other recommended policies such as restricting unhealthy food marketing to children are just not happening,” said Professor Swinburn.

All countries have signed up to a World Health Organization target of reducing premature death from non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, by 25 percent by the year 2025.

“The target is to achieve no further increase in obesity rates, and this will be one of the most challenging targets to reach since countries are almost all heading in the wrong direction,” according to Professor Swinburn. “Changes in food environments will respond quite quickly to healthy food policies, and we hope to detect early changes in reducing the drivers of obesity. This will be critical in monitoring progress towards the WHO targets.”

The INFORMAS work is under the auspices of the International Obesity Taskforce, and is being coordinated at the University of Auckland.

Ends

The INFORMAS papers are available online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/obr.2013.14.issue-s1/issuetoc

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

EPMU: Fourth Anniversary

Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. More>>

ALSO:

'Kindara': Unusual Ginger Coloured Kiwi Chick Released To Taupo Creche

A cute little kiwi chick with an unusual ginger tinge to its feathers has just been released to Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary Kiwi Creche in Taupo after hatching at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter. More>>

Werewolf: The Complicatist : Bob Dylan Himself, And By Others

Bob Dylan is about to release a six CD version of the entire Basement Tapes sessions he recorded with the Band 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, I’ve rustled together some favourite cover versions of Dylan songs, and a few lesser-known tracks by the great man. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gone Girl : The Trouble With Amy

Philip Matthews: Three words to describe the David Fincher film Gone Girl: cynical, topical and ridiculous. Ridiculous isn’t a negative. More>>

ALSO:

11/11: Armistice Day Peace Vigils

On Armistice Day 2014, the second in the series of peace vigils that will take place three times each year during the World War One centenary will be held in Hokianga, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Otaki, Lower Hutt, Wellington and Takaka. More>>

ALSO:

Te Papa: Rick Ellis Appointed New Chief Executive

The Board and Chairman of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa are pleased to announce the appointment of Rick Ellis as the new Chief Executive for the museum. More>>

Couture: New All Blacks Jersey Gets Team’s Seal Of Approval

More than two years in the making, adidas has today unveiled the most technologically-advanced and blackest All Blacks jersey ever, four days before the highly anticipated match against England. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news