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Healthy lifestyles package for young Kiwis

21 September 2006

Mission-On healthy lifestyles package for young Kiwis

The Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced Mission-On, a $67 million Government-wide package of initiatives to help young New Zealanders improve their nutrition and be more active.

"We have always been known as a country of fit, active people and the Labour-led government believes this is a legacy worth protecting. An epidemic of obesity threatens to undo the significant progress made in improving our health and quality of life.

"Unless something changes, the current generation of young New Zealanders may very well be the first to die at a younger age than their parents.

"Mission-On is a package aimed at giving New Zealand's children, young people and their families the tools to become healthier, so they can lead active and successful lives.

"By improving nutrition and reversing the declining levels of physical activity among young Kiwis, New Zealand will be much better placed to prevent obesity," said Helen Clark.

The Mission-On package includes:

- Improving nutrition in schools and early childhood education services
- School-based health promotion events
- A new 'lifestyle ambassadors' campaign featuring high-profile New Zealanders
- Encouraging the advertising industry to take measures to decrease children's exposure to the advertising of less healthy foods
- The creation of youth-focused websites to promote healthy eating and physical activity
- Sponsorship of television and radio programmes that promote healthy choices
- A 'screen-free' campaign to encourage less time in front of television and computers
- Government departments leading by example in the promotion of healthy workplaces
- An expansion of the 'Green Prescription' programme
- The introduction of Health Impact Assessments for new government policy and legislation.

"With the right resources young people, their families and their communities can act together to make healthier choices," said Helen Clark.

ENDS

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