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Child Obesity Policy Step In The Right Direction

17 February 2006

Child Obesity Policy Step In The Right Direction

New Zealand First welcomes Government initiatives to tackle the problem of child obesity but calls for urgency in their implementation says New Zealand First’s health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“We are regularly bombarded with depressing statistics about our increasingly unhealthy children. The 2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey found that nearly 1 in 3 New Zealand children were either overweight or obese.

“The consequences of childhood obesity are also becoming increasingly apparent,” said Mrs Stewart.

“However the good news that three senior ministers will next month discuss a cabinet paper on initiatives to tackle the problem is somewhat tempered by the fact that any positive action could still be months, if not years, down the track.

“If the Ministers want to get out of the blocks faster the revelation last week that New Zealand children are subject to some of the highest levels of unhealthy food advertising in the world would be a good place to start.

“The Government has banned tobacco advertising and restricted alcohol advertising for the protection of adults and adolescents - it should have no hesitation in imposing stronger food advertising standards to protect the interests of our children,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS


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