Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science

Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is science

The Government’s latest snub of scientific evidence – this time about its failure to address childhood obesity – is another example of National’s reliance on ‘tobacco science’ to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today.

An Auckland University report, the Health Food Environment Policy Index in New Zealand, saw more than 50 National and International public health experts rate the Government's implementation of health policies against international best practice.

They found "very large implementation gaps in several important areas", including no comprehensive national plan to tackle obesity, no policies to reduce marketing of junk food to children and no plan to ensure healthy food in schools.

“This is the weightiest call to action, from the most credible obesity experts that this country has ever seen, and the Health Minister has dismissed their recommendations as both unsophisticated and unworthy of his attention,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said.

Tony Ryall has said National had no intention of introducing the measures recommended by all the experts describing his roundly-criticised healthy eating initiative as “a more sophisticated and evidence-based way of addressing obesity and other underlying causes of poor health”.

“This mumbo jumbo from Tony Ryall is classic ‘tobacco science’ in action. It’s yet another example of the Government brushing off the evidence, and all the experts, in order to justify its own agenda,” Mr Hague said.

“No wonder National is trying to take over university councils, and slashing funding for research, because every report that comes out of a university these days shows the Government is going in the wrong direction,”

Ryall’s dismissal of the Auckland University recommendations follows Climate Change Minister Tim Groser’s suggestion that a climate change mitigation expert “stick to his knitting” and John Key’s comment that science around river pollution from dairying was irrelevant because he could find another scientist to say that pollution doesn’t matter.

“The scientists have outlined an approach to tackling obesity which they say is “eminently doable”, but the Government won’t do it, preferring instead to watch a generation of children lose years off their lives,” Mr Hague said.

“Just like its approach to climate change, and water quality, scientists are saying this Government is not doing enough to reduce childhood obesity.

“Our childhood obesity epidemic requires the Government to regulate the environment that’s causing that obesity, through measures such as bans on promotion of unhealthy food to kids, ensuring food sold at schools and ECE centres is healthy.

“Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science, but it is science, and its time for the Government to stop denying that matters,” Mr Hague said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news