[SportMed] MEDICAL: CONDTIONS: OBESITY : GOVERNMENT : COUNTRIES: NEW ZEALAND: Weighed Down: 20 Years of Government Action on Obesity

 

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MEDICAL: CONDTIONS: OBESITY :

GOVERNMENT :

COUNTRIES: NEW ZEALAND:

Weighed Down: 20 Years of Government Action on Obesity

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Weighed Down: 20 Years of Government Action on Obesity

SAM SACHDEVA

Last updated 05:00, March 17 2017

Well and Good

Stuff

http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/89573648/ weighed-down-20-years-of-government-action-on-obesity

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/lvxkw9u

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Successive governments have unveiled a number of different initiatives to tackle obesity over the last two decades.

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Of all the areas where our MPs are asked to take action, obesity seems among the trickiest to deal with.

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How much influence can – or should – our politicians have over what we put into our bodies?

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With obesity set to become New Zealand’s leading preventable health risk, many health experts say it’s well past time to make tough calls, like a sugar tax or bans on junk food advertising.

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However, representatives from “Big Food” argue that food companies are already doing their bit to encourage healthy eating, and overbearing regulations are not the solution.

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It’s no wonder that our governments have at times seemed weighed down by the task, as the array of initiatives over the last two decades shows.

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One of the first moves to tackle obesity came in 2000, with the newly-elected Labour Government’s New Zealand Health Strategy.

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The plan put improving nutrition and reducing obesity among 13 immediate health objectives, saying obesity was “one of the most important avoidable risk factors for a number of life-threatening diseases”.

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The strategy was followed in 2002 by Healthy Action – Healthy Eating, a strategy to improve diets, increase physical activity and reduce obesity by providing more support to disadvantaged groups such as the poor and Maori.

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HEALTHY EATING, UNHEALTHY FUNDING?

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However, it was the Ministry of Health’s suggested ban on advertising junk food to children that created the greatest outcry, with the food industry slamming it as a “simplistic notion” and TVNZ threatening to cut programming as a result.

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An array of other initiatives followed, including an exercise programme for under-fives and new national guidelines on eating.

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However, the Healthy Eating – Healthy Action plan came under fire in 2004 for skimping on funding for healthy eating work, as well as failing to tackle fast food advertising.

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Annette King, the health minister at the time, also ruled out a “fat tax” on unhealthy foods, saying she preferred working with the food industry on education “rather than straight into regulation and taxation”.

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However, King hailed the signing in 2004 of the Health of our Nation accord, an industry-led agreement to reduce obesity and promote healthy eating – although she warned regulations could follow if it didn’t succeed.

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The Labour Government’s work with the food industry led to some successes, such as soft-drink companies in 2006 agreeing to pull their sugary beverages from all New Zealand schools.

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Additional Topics Covered in This Article

MAKING HEALTHY FOOD COOL FOR SCHOOL

TACKLING FAT WITH FITNESS, NOT FOOD

NEW MINISTER, SAME GOALS?

TACKLING OBESITY WITH SPORTS STARS

NO APPETITE FOR SUGAR TAX

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The complete articles may be read at the URLs provided for each.

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[SportMed] MEDICAL: CONDTIONS: OBESITY : GOVERNMENT : COUNTRIES: NEW ZEALAND: Weighed Down: 20 Years of Government Action on Obesity

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