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Five fruit and veg message not getting out

Five fruit and veg message not getting out

24 January 2002

Preliminary results of a Ministry of Health study showing over two-thirds of Kiwi kids do not eat the recommended daily serving of five fruit and veg a day are a wake up call for parents, Sue Kedgley says.

The Green Party Safe Food spokesperson said today that a nation-wide nutrition education campaign aimed at both children and parents is urgently needed to improve children's eating habits.

"The message about how to eat healthily is not getting out. If two thirds of our children are not regularly eating five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, they will not be getting the nutrients they need to protect them from ill health in childhood and adulthood," she said.

"More and more evidence is showing that what we eat as children affects our long-term health, and will bad eating habits now will inevitably lead to even greater public health costs in the future," she said.

"It is time for the government to address this serious public health issue, and embark on a high profile, nation-wide nutritional education campaign."

In England, a major television advertising campaign targeted at children and parents focussed on the simple message that children need to eat five fruit and vegetables a day to maintain their health.

"This is the sort of high profile campaign which could work well here," said Ms Kedgley.

"The New Zealand health system is focussed on treating ill health rather than on preventative measures such as educating New Zealanders about the importance of a healthy diet.

"Channelling some resources into health prevention measures such as nutrition campaigns now would reduce pressure on hospitals and the rest of the health system in the long term."


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