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NZ: Legislate to beat the flab epidemic – OAC opinion piece

In an opinion piece in The Dominion Post, Leigh Sturgiss, executive director of the Obesity Action Coalition, argues that the Government needs to regulate to turn around the obesity epidemic.

Sturgiss points out that the obesity epidemic is a multi-faceted problem that has been developing over the past 20 years. She stresses that while parents are responsible for their children’s health and nutrition, they need a supportive environment in which to do do.

“The obesity epidemic is proof that parents are fighting a losing battle, as food company giants place overwhelming commercial pressures on our children to eat unhealthy food”, says Sturgiss.

And unlike the tobacco industry, “the food industry can sell its unhealthy products in an environment free of regulation.”

Meanwhile, the Government’s healthy eating campaign, Feeding our Futures is swamped by messages for unhealthy food from the food industry.

What is needed, says Sturgiss, is “regulation that prevents the marketing of all high-fat, high-sugar and high-salt foods across all media types, especially those directed at children.”

Source: Dominion Post, 1 October 2007, page B5

Published on October 1, 2007 in New Zealand news