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NZ: Options to help reduce sugary drink consumption

FIZZ Policy Brief launch

The New Zealand Beverage Guidance Council (NZBGA) presented their Policy Brief Options to reduce sugar sweetened beverage consumption in New Zealand to political party representatives on 19 June 2014 in Wellington.

The Policy Brief has recommendations for  government, whanau, community and workplace groups, schools and early childhood education centres, health professionals, industry, and NGOs.

Recommendations to government 

  • introduce a 20% excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) with funding used for health promotion
  • strengthen the National Administration Guidelines so schools only provide foods and beverages which meet the dietary guidelines
  • implement effective social marketing campaigns that support healthy beverage choices and discourage unhealthy beverage choices
  • implement effective restrictions of marketing to children of unhealthy foods and beverages, including SSBs.

Presentations

The presentation began with brief talks from:

  • Dr Gerhard Sundborn from the University of Auckland (the main person behind the recent FIZZ symposium and the establishment of the NZBGC). He spoke about the document as a whole.
  • Dr Rob Beaglehole (Principal Dental Officer, Nelson Marlborough DHB) rattled a jar of rotten teeth and gave a graphic picture of the consequences of sugary drink consumption on children’s teeth – and on the health budget. Extractions under general anaesthetic are very costly.
  • Leonie Matoe (Managing Director, Toi Tangata) spoke of success stories where community groups are drinking fewer sugary drinks.

Next, representatives from the three political parties that accepted an invitation to attend the presentation spoke:

  • Annette King said that Labour accepted all the recommendations other than that to introduce a tax on SSBs.
  • Kevin Hague (Green Party) and Tariana Turia followed, both accepting all the recommendations including the tax.

Download The Policy Brief from the FIZZ website

 

Published on June 24, 2014 in New Zealand news