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


Obesity epidemic and climate change

Obesity epidemic and climate change: similar problems, similar solutions

OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council welcomes the release of the New Zealand Medical Association’s policy briefing on obesity this week, with the Council pointing to the similarities between obesity and climate change.

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) report identifies the devastating health and financial consequences of New Zealand’s climbing obesity rate with nearly two-thirds of adult New Zealanders now either overweight or obese. Almost a third (31%) of adult New Zealanders suffer from obesity, the fourth highest rate in the OECD, with another third (34%) being overweight. Obesity rates in children have jumped in just six years from 8% in 2006/07 to 11% in 2012/13. This means that obesity is set to overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of premature death and ill health in New Zealand by 2016.

The NZMA report identifies the ‘obesogenic environment’ as the leading cause of the obesity epidemic, and calls for a raft of measures to reduce our consumption of processed and unhealthy foods, and to make it easier to get physically active most days.

“Many of the factors that are driving our growing obesity are also driving climate change,” says Dr Alex Macmillan from the New Zealand Climate and Health Council. “The expansion of fossil fuel extraction has led to mechanisation of transport and industry, and driven industrial farming practices that have all contributed to both growing obesity and climate changes,” Dr Macmillan explains.

The NZMA report calls for a multifaceted, whole of society response to the obesity epidemic – free from the influence of commercial interests. We urgently need a similar response to the threat of our changing climate to New Zealanders’ health and wellbeing.

The New Zealand Climate and Health Council explains that many steps to reduce climate-damaging emissions also help reduce obesity rates. “Healthy eating, that’s much more plant-based with less red meat and animal fat consumption, would significantly reduce food-production emissions,” says Dr Macmillan. “Walking, cycling and using public transport means more physical activity – which is good for weight management and good for climate,” Dr Macmillan adds.

“The Council hopes that this election will see smart new policies that respond to New Zealand’s urgent health and economic challenges of changing climate and growing obesity,” concludes Dr Macmillan.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news