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Minister's Plan not enough to curb children's health crisis

Tuesday 20th October 2015

Ministers Plan not enough to curb children's health crisis - ActionStation

More than 6000 New Zealanders have called on the Minister of Health to limit the marketing of junk food and high sugar drinks, saying the Minister’s childhood obesity plan is not enough to curb the children's health crisis in our country.

ActionStation campaign spokesperson, Ryan Mearns explains; “All evidence from the likes of the World Health Organisation and the New Zealand Medical Association point to the need for regulatory changes, including greater protection from the marketing of unhealthy food to children, in order to curb the crisis of our deteriorating children’s health. The Minister’s plan unfortunately leaves any changes of this nature out.”

The Minister of Health released a plan yesterday with 22 recommendations to address childhood obesity. Mr Mearns; “The Minister seems to be ignoring his own experts, such as the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor who co-chaired the World Commission on ending childhood obesity which recommended major restrictions on unhealthy food marketing to children as well as a number of regulatory changes.”

The Minister’s recommendations focus on education and health promotion but no regulation of sugar content, marketing of junk foods or any taxes on sugary drinks, all of which the World Health Organisation recommended in their Interim Report of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.

“The Minister is tinkering around the edges of the problem, rather than tackling the key drivers of our children’s health crisis, and the plan he has laid out is not enough to curb that crisis.” says Mr Mearns

ENDS.

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