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Healthy Eating Healthy Action plan for Southland


Damien O'Connor

31 July, 2008
Healthy Eating Healthy Action plan for Southland

A new plan aiming to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and reduce obesity in Southland was launched by Associate Health Minister Damien O’Connor today.

The Southland Healthy Eating - Healthy Action (HEHA) Plan is part of the Southland District Health Board and whole community response to the obesity epidemic in their region, and sets a number of nutritional and physical goals for the people of Southland to achieve.

Mr O’Connor said the launch of the Southland HEHA Plan is an important milestone.

“This is a true reflection of what is trying to be achieved nationally, in terms of including all sectors and communities in the government’s response to the obesity epidemic.

"The Southland HEHA Plan sets out to achieve a number of goals, which include increased fruit and vegetable consumption, increased breastfeeding rates, increased rates of physical activity participation and improving nutrition,” said Mr O'Connor.

The 2006/2007 New Zealand Health Survey launched last month shows that one in three kiwi adults are overweight and a further one in four adults were obese. While the 2002/2003 New Zealand Health Survey found that 59 percent of Southlanders were overweight or obese and that Southland Maori are more likely to be obese or overweight, updated data for the Southland region will be available in the next couple of months.

“The Labour-led government committed to helping New Zealanders improve their nutrition, increase physical activity and maintain healthier lifestyles. This year’s Budget committed $52 million over the next four years to several initiatives aimed at improving nutrition and fighting obesity.

Mr O'Connor said DHBs around the country are coming up with local solutions for their own communities, to improve the nutrition and physical activity levels of their populations and ultimately reduce the number of New Zealanders who are overweight and obese.

"Whilst today is a milestone not only for the Southland DHB and the Southland community, the challenge of reducing obesity is a great one and work must continue all over the country to improve these statistics,” said Mr O'Connor.

ENDS

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