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Budget 2014: $40m for anti-obesity initiative

24 May 2014 Media Statement
Budget 2014: $40m for anti-obesity initiative

Encouraging families to live healthy, active lives is part of the Government’s approach to reducing obesity in New Zealand.

“Budget 2014 invests $40 million over four years for the new Healthy Families NZ anti-obesity initiative, which is expected to reach around 900,000 New Zealanders,” Health Minister Tony Ryall says.

“Healthy Families NZ is a complete reform of the way we address the underlying causes of poor health, including obesity, smoking and excessive drinking. It’s based on one of the very few anti-obesity programmes that actually work.

“Too often resources have been spread thinly across the country. Healthy Families NZ will build a dedicated health promotion workforce in a specific and discrete number of high-risk communities.

“From October 2014, Healthy Families NZ will roll out to 10 communities – East Cape, the Far North District, Invercargill, Lower Hutt, Rotorua, Whanganui, Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura, Spreydon-Heathcote and Waitakere.

“In each community, a local provider will lead the programme. It will recruit a dedicated health promotion workforce who will work with schools, early childhood education centres, workplaces and sport clubs to encourage and support people to make healthy lifestyle choices,” Mr Ryall says.

Healthy Families NZ is based on the highly successful Healthy Together Victoria programme from Victoria, Australia. As a result of the programme, children aged between four and 12 now, on average, weigh one kilogram less, have smaller waistlines, and can run for longer than children in nearby towns.

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