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Obesity inquiry vitally important - Greens

22 February 2006

Obesity inquiry vitally important - Greens

The Green Party has welcomed the announcement of the Health Select Committee's inquiry into obesity and type 2 diabetes today.

"I can't think of a more important inquiry that needs to take place. Obesity is arguably the most serious public health crisis confronting New Zealand," Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"Already 10 per cent of New Zealand children and 21 per cent of adults are obese, and experts say that a total of 1.5 million New Zealanders can be classed as overweight or obese.

"Obesity leads to a range of health risks, including type 2 diabetes, so we've got to tackle this issue if we don't want it to overwhelm our health system," Ms Kedgley says.

"At present, New Zealand children are growing up in an environment which encourages them at every turn to eat high sugar, high fat foods and drinks which are known to contribute to obesity and poor health.

"If we are serious about reducing the risks of obesity we have to find ways of reducing the overwhelming pressure on children to eat unhealthy food.

"We look forward to robust debate in the select committee about how this can be done," Ms Kedgley says.


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