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NZ: Inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in NZ. Write a letter

Tell the Health Select Committee what you think about obesity. Make a submission!

Making a submission to the Health Select Committee Inquiry is easy. You just need to address one or more of the terms of reference, such as Number 4,To inquire into whether additional interventions aimed at changing features of the environment that promote obesity are required and send the committee 25 copies of your letter.

Read FOE’s suggestions for making a submission.

Write a  letter

If you do not feel able to make a submission to the Health Select Committee Inquiry you can still let the committee know that you are concerned about obesity in children and some of the issues around it.

The Obesity Action Coalition has three examples of letters and issues that you might want the Committee to consider.

Use these letters or use them as the basis for your own letter.

Writing a letter tells the committee this is an issue ordinary citizens are concerned about. Politicians are more likely to respond to issues when they understand that many of their constituents are concerned. So, encourage your friends to write too.

You do not have to pay postage on the letter.

Letter 1 – Junk Food Advertising

Health Select Committee Secretariat

Bowen House

Parliament Buildings

Wellington

I wish to address terms of reference number 4: To inquire into whether additional interventions aimed at changing features of the environment that promote obesity are required.

Restrictions are needed on promotion of high sugar, high fat foods in schools.

We /I ask the Health Select Committee to recommend to Parliament that restrictions on the promotion of high sugar, high fat foods be introduced. The constant barrage of advertising for low nutrient foods that appears on television, radio, in the print media, on billboards in the community on the internet and even in schools leads children to believe that it is normal to eat “treat foods” everyday.

This advertising has a very strong influence on what children want to eat and undermines parents’ best efforts to ensure their children eat well and learn about good nutrition.

Yours sincerely

Letter 2 – Junk Food in Schools

Health Select Committee Secretariat

Bowen House

Parliament Buildings

Wellington

I wish to address terms of reference number 4: To inquire into whether additional interventions aimed at changing features of the environment that promote obesity are required.

Schools should ban the sale and promotion of unhealthy food and drinks

We/I ask the Select Committee to recommend to Parliament that all schools be required to have, and enforce, healthy food policies which would ban the sale, and promotion of unhealthy food and drinks.

The availability and promotion of these types of foods in schools conflicts with classroom nutrition lessons and discourages children from choosing healthy food.

Parents who are trying to teach their children good eating patterns have their authority undermined when schools make unhealthy food available.

Yours sincerely

 

Letter 3 – Junk Food Company Sponsorship of Children’s Activities

Health Select Committee Secretariat

Bowen House

Parliament Buildings

Wellington

I wish to address terms of reference number 4: To inquire into whether additional interventions aimed at changing features of the environment that promote obesity are required.

Food company sponsorship and unhealthy fundraisers should be banned in schools.

We/I ask the Health Select Committee to recommend to Parliament that adequate funding be provided to schools, children’s sports and other children’s and youth activities to eliminate the need for food company sponsorship. Presently schools, children’s sports, road safety and even dental care are sponsored by food companies that promote over consumption of high sugar, high fat foods. Sponsorship is just another way companies can advertise their products.

In addition many schools and other children’s and youth activity organisations expect children to sell unhealthy foods such as biscuits and chocolate bars and/or accept branded sponsorships from fast food, confectionary and soft drink companies to raise money. The sale and promotion of foods of poor nutritional quality undermines the positive lessons children learn about good eating and physical activity through these activities.

Education, health and sports activities should not be aligned with unhealthy food and we urge the Committee to recommend a system similar to that used to replace tobacco sponsorship money.

Yours sincerely

Published on April 5, 2006 in New Zealand news