Ten per cent of New Zealand children and 30 per cent of adults are obese.
Dr Vandevijvere said – ‘The healthy food policies needing to be implemented were especially apparent in the areas of reducing the marketing of unhealthy foods to children – healthy school food policies- and using fiscal policies like taxes on sugary drinks to influence food choices.
‘She said the Government had signalled it wanted to make a genuine effort to reverse New Zealand’s unacceptably high rate of childhood obesity. The four child-related policies picked as priority actions by the panel ‘really need to be a central part of the Government’s plans for that to be successful’.
The six policies which attracted the greatest support of the panel were in order of support:
1.That the Government set salt-content targets for certain food groups and a standard for fatty acid content of commercial deep frying fats.
2.Further restrictions on marketing unhealthy food to young people – including sports sponsorship and television advertising.
3.Ensuring schools and ECE centres are free of commercial promotion of unhealthy foods.
4.No sales of unhealthy foods in schools and ECE centres,5.Mandatory front-of-pack star rating of packaged foods – if not voluntarily adopted by the food industry.
6.A 20 per cent tax on sugary drinks.