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Kiwi Parents Vote For Best And Worst Food

16 October, 2003
Kiwi parents vote for best and worst food

The verdict is out: parents are fed up with the poor quality of much of the food that is on offer for children and worried about the effect it is having on their children's health, Green MP and organiser of the first New Zealand Children's Food Awards, Sue Kedgley, said today.

"The New Zealanders who voted for the finalists announced today are sending a clear message to food manufacturers: stop marketing unhealthy, highly coloured, flavoured food that is overloaded with fat and sugar to our children," said Ms Kedgley.

"Parents want food manufacturers to reformulate food aimed at children to lower its fat, sugar, salt and additive content."

Parents voiced their concerns about the food they don't want their children to eat, including Coca Cola ("a sugar and caffeine cocktail"), winner of the Chemical Cocktail award; Fruitloops ("candy for breakfast") winner of the Nutritionless Nightmare award; and McDonald's french fries ("thin cut for maximum fat payload"), winner of the Full o'Fat award.

Healthy alternatives that parents celebrated in the awards include Harraway's porridge and Sanitarium weetbix (co-winners of the Best Breakfast award), and fruit and vegetables in season. The hands down winner of the Cleanest Greenest award went to breastmilk, described as "medicine, sleep aid (for mum and baby), and needs no special care, preparation or refrigeration", closely followed by organic fruit and vegetables.

The GE genie award, for children's food that may contain GE ingredients, went to Inghams chicken nuggets.

Ms Kedgley said the awards are part of a growing rebellion by parents at the way food corporations are infiltrating every aspect of our children's lives through advertising and encouraging them to crave unhealthy high fat, high salt, high sugar foods that are contributing to childhood obesity and ill-health.

"While acknowledging that some manufacturers are making efforts to improve their food, such as the salads McDonald's have recently introduced, they are not nearly enough.

"The Judging Panel therefore appeals to manufacturers to reformulate the products they market at children, and help to be part of the solution, not the problem, of our childhood obesity and diabetics epidemic.

"Peer pressure and pester power are making it increasingly difficult for parents to feed their children well and that's why parents are fighting back against these sorts of pressures," Ms Kedgley said. "We must improve the food on offer to our children if our children are not to eat themselves into an early grave. "

http://www.greens.org.nz/campaigns/safe-food/foodawards.htm

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