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


Junk food dominates NZ sport

Junk food dominates New Zealand sport venues, according to new research led by the University of Otago, Wellington.

The study, funded by the Health Research Council of NZ, investigated what kinds of food are available in sports settings.

They found that fizzy, chocolate, chips and other fried foods were the most common foods sold at these venues.

“Unfortunately, we have competing players in the sport – healthy physical activity and unhealthy food,” says co-author Professor Louise Signal from the University of Otago, Wellington.

The researchers looked at food sold at 31 rugby and 20 netball venues and interviewed sports administrators from a range of sports about the food environment in NZ sport

Food was sold at 95 percent of netball venues (19 out of 20) venues and 45 percent of rugby venues (13 out of 29). The researchers found 68 percent of all food items sold at netball venues were classified as unhealthy. That compares to 62 percent of all foods sold at rugby venues.

Food sales generated no income for most sports organisations with food services contracted to caterers. Interviewees suggested that generally caterers have control of food provision and they need to make a profit.

“Healthy nutrition policies in sports clubs are urgently needed. This requires support from health agencies and leadership from national sports organisations,” says Professor Signal.

New Zealand has very high rates of obesity, with almost one in three adults obese and over one in 10 children.

“Given our obesity epidemic, NZ should reconsider this association between junk food and sport,” she says. Children and parents agree, according to earlier research.

“New Zealand has high levels of participation in sport which is good for our wellbeing but we don’t want this undone by a diet of junk food.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Shakespeare's Brother: Pop-Up Globe's All-Male Cast 'Seems Bizarre'

The company announced its November shows, which include men-only performances of Richard III and The Taming of the Shrew, would highlight the abuse of power in a number of Shakespeare's plays. More>>


APRA Silver Scroll Awards: 2018 Top 20 Announced

Widely considered the most prestigious accolade in New Zealand music, the APRA Silver Scroll Award recognises outstanding achievement in the craft of songwriting, and the responsibility now falls to APRA’s almost 10,000 New Zealand members to choose the best song of 2018. More>>

Right Whale In The Wrong Place: Wellington Fireworks Postponed To Protect Whale

The Matariki Sky Show has been postponed till next weekend – Saturday 14 July primarily due to the presence of the southern right whale in Wellington Harbour. More>>


11/11: Armistice Day Centenary Commemorations

A series of public events will be held at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, in addition to a series of activities designed to support communities across New Zealand to engage in the commemorations. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland