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No to Fat Tax – Yes To Diet and Exercise

Barbara Stewart MP
Spokesperson for Health

31 July 2013

No to Fat Tax – Yes To Diet and Exercise

Targeted campaigns to encourage healthy eating and regular exercise would be more useful than trying to impose an across the board “fat tax” to curb obesity, says New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

This follows a recent article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health which looked into how cardiovascular disease could be reduced by eating less saturated fat and also discussed the option of a fat tax in New Zealand.

“A tax on unhealthy foods would be difficult to enforce – one person’s unhealthy food is someone else’s gourmet delight and cultural differences would also have to be taken into account.

“The most logical way to reduce the number of obesity-related conditions is to increase our knowledge of food ingredients and the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity.”

Mrs. Stewart suggests the redevelopment of programmes such as ‘Push Play’ and ‘Healthy Eating Healthy Action Plan’ and points out that it is important for young people to be targeted with campaigns for healthy lifestyles.

“We are all eventually responsible for what we eat and the best way to help people make the right choices is to educate them”, says Mrs. Stewart.


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