Government Chooses Food Industry Over Children’s Health

Barbara Stewart

The government has failed to take action against the food industry in the fight against childhood obesity, says New Zealand First.

“There has been no money spent through the childhood obesity programme, either on regulating the marketing of food to children, or on creating partnerships within the food industry to improve advertising standards – two key initiatives identified within the government’s programme,” says Health Spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“The Minister of Health has not had a meeting with the food industry since the programme was introduced in October last year, so what partnerships could he possibly be creating?

“Reducing the exposure of children to food marketing is recommended by the World Health Organisation and the New Zealand Medical Association as a vital step in tackling this country’s obesity epidemic.

“The government’s failure to take action on food marketing is a tacit admission that they would rather keep the food industry happy than improve the health of Kiwi children.

“New Zealand First would ensure settings where children gather, such as around schools or playgrounds, are free from all forms of marketing of foods high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free sugars, or salt,” says Mrs Stewart.

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