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Food also to blame for child obesity

26 May 2005
Great plan - but food also to blame for childhood obesity

A plan for a traffic light system for ranking drinks is an incredibly positive initiative, but should be extended to include food and used as guidelines for all schools, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"With one in three New Zealand children overweight or obese we need to do everything we can to stem this trend," she says.

The traffic light system could be combined with the Green Party's call for a simple regulatory amendment that would see only healthy food and drinks sold in school tuck shops and lunch orders, Ms Kedgley says.

Using the system developed by the Waitemata District Health Board and the National Heart Foundation, regulations could be changed to require that only green-light food and drink are available for sale in schools.

"We can not ignore this problem any longer. The rate of type 2 diabetes is skyrocketing in New Zealand as are the other health problems that are associated with high-sugar, high-fat diets. These people are losing years off their lives, not to mention the countless millions that it is costing an already overstretched health system.

"Despite the rhetoric surrounding the Food Industry Accord and manufacturers' claims that they are committed to providing healthier food, there has been little actual improvement in quality of products targeted at children.

"Schools can play an important part in educating children about healthy food choices and this should be reinforced with healthy food and drink in their tuck shops. It's crazy that schools should be selling food and drink that we know contributes to diabetes, obesity and dental decay,"Ms Kedgley says.26 May 2005
Great plan - but food also to blame for childhood obesity

A plan for a traffic light system for ranking drinks is an incredibly positive initiative, but should be extended to include food and used as guidelines for all schools, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"With one in three New Zealand children overweight or obese we need to do everything we can to stem this trend," she says.

The traffic light system could be combined with the Green Party's call for a simple regulatory amendment that would see only healthy food and drinks sold in school tuck shops and lunch orders, Ms Kedgley says.

Using the system developed by the Waitemata District Health Board and the National Heart Foundation, regulations could be changed to require that only green-light food and drink are available for sale in schools.

"We can not ignore this problem any longer. The rate of type 2 diabetes is skyrocketing in New Zealand as are the other health problems that are associated with high-sugar, high-fat diets. These people are losing years off their lives, not to mention the countless millions that it is costing an already overstretched health system.

"Despite the rhetoric surrounding the Food Industry Accord and manufacturers' claims that they are committed to providing healthier food, there has been little actual improvement in quality of products targeted at children.

"Schools can play an important part in educating children about healthy food choices and this should be reinforced with healthy food and drink in their tuck shops. It's crazy that schools should be selling food and drink that we know contributes to diabetes, obesity and dental decay,"Ms Kedgley says.

ENDS

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