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

 

Otago researchers call for national health food policy

Otago researchers call for national health food policy for schools


Otago researchers are among a group recommending a national health food policy for all schools be adopted, as diet-related diseases become a significant issue for New Zealand.

Professor in Human Nutrition and Medicine at the University of Otago, Jim Mann and Professor Tony Blakely from the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, together with colleagues from the University of Auckland are co-hosting and organising a symposium about diet-related disease in New Zealand which begins in Wellington tomorrow, Tuesday 4 September.

The symposium, ‘Tackling diet-related disease in New Zealand – the need, the evidence, the priorities’ will provide research, discussion and recommendations. The Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, a national research collaboration dedicated to achieving healthier lives for all New Zealanders, sponsors it.

The researchers will recommend establishing a nationwide healthy food policy for all schools, building on the healthy food policy that District Health Boards have adopted and hospitals across New Zealand are currently adopting.

“Strategies like a sugar sweetened beverage tax to reduce consumption of sugary drinks have been shown to work in other countries, are highly cost-effective and could work well in New Zealand, Professor Blakely says.

Professor Mann, who is the Director of Healthier Lives, says unhealthy diet is the leading preventable risk for poor health in New Zealand.

“Despite encouraging recent trends, rates of diet-related disease remain high and are major contributors to inequity of health outcomes in New Zealand,” Professor Mann says.

“There is convincing evidence that dietary changes can profoundly reduce risk but population-based initiatives will be required to facilitate their implementation.”

Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu from the University of Auckland says New Zealand has the third highest levels of obesity in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“Our inexorably rising levels of obesity and associated diseases mean we must rethink our approaches to the way we tackle these diseases,” Professor Ni Mhurchu says.

The researchers will be presenting the latest evidence that is unique to New Zealand and calling on the Government for strong leadership, she says.

“We urgently need commitment (from the Government and agencies) on new approaches, such as a government-led reformulation programme to reduce salt, sugar and saturated fats in New Zealand packaged and processed foods.”

Another of the symposium organisers, Professor Boyd Swinburn from the University of Auckland, says food industry-led ‘pledges’ in the past have not worked.

“Creation of a healthier population food supply requires commitment, strong leadership and legislation by the Government to move this ahead,” Professor Swinburn says.

The symposium will be opened by the Minister of Health, Hon David Clark and will feature global perspectives, but also uniquely, New Zealand views from Māori, research and industry. Radio presenter Kim Hill will adjudicate a discussion panel in the final session of the symposium, with a range of perspectives represented.

The event is a collaboration between the BODE3 Programme (University of Otago, Wellington), INFORMAS and the DIET Programme (University of Auckland). The Health Research Council of New Zealand funds all these programmes.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Indycars: Dixon Wins Fifth US Championship

The New Zealand motor racing driver Scott Dixon has won the US Indycar championship for the fifth time. Dixon finished second in the final race of the season in Sonoma in California. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: The Outsider Art of Tony Fomison

Among such gifted contemporaries as Bill Hammond, Tony de la Tour, and printmaker Jason Grieg, Fomison distinguished himself as highly idiosyncratic, and could have become wealthy, had not his demons prevented him from investing his income wisely. In his near monochrome oil painting on black hessian, he staked out a territory of morbid originality. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Immortal Love

The series has a wild-west tone with a steampunk vibe, so if you’re a fan of Joss Whedon’s Firefly or Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea, then chances are you’ll enjoy this book. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Trappings of Success - McQueen

This troubling documentary about the extraordinary life and untimely death of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen (1969 - 2010) is a cautionary tale of an extremely gifted, but self-destructive soul caught up in a business that chews up and spits out its creative talent. More>>

Anne Russell: On Nanette, And The Limitations Of Stories

Since many detractors fault Gadsby or other women for talking about their trauma publicly, Gadsby’s most ardent fans mistakenly perceive virtually any criticism of Nanette as misogynist. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland