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Obesity: Let's Work with people, not dictate

Obesity: Let's Work with people, not dictate to them

Any response to the issue of obesity and type 2 diabetes will have to alter the "cultural hard-drive" of individuals and at-risk groups in order to be effective, says National Party Associate Health spokesman Jonathan Coleman.

"The challenge of obesity and diabetes requires an approach that identifies and targets the socio-cultural aspects of the problem.

“In Western, Maori, Pacific Island, and Asian cultures, food is often central to social interaction and a mark of hospitality. Basic attitudes to food have to change so that healthy choices are the choices of preference."

Dr Coleman is commenting after today’s release of the Health Select Committee report into obesity and type 2 diabetes.

"If we're going to tackle this problem successfully, people are going to need the education and skills to make healthy dietary and lifestyle choices.

“Eliminating choice and relying on control over people's lives will not achieve the required changes. We need to work with people, not dictate to them.

"While National supports healthy schools and workplaces, we don't want to see choice removed. We certainly don't think adding more bureaucracy in the form of some sort of commissioner is the answer.”


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