New Zealand - alarming trends in nutrition

New report from MoH shows alarming trends in nutrition

A new report showing that the average Kiwi household spends more on confectionary every week than on fresh fruit underlines just how challenging it will be to improve the nutrition of New Zealand families, Health Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

The Food and Nutrition Monitoring Report 2006 – released by the Minister today – includes the latest information on food supply and purchasing patterns, food and nutrient intake, nutritional status and factors influencing dietary intake.

Among the report's key findings are that the average household spends $6.50 on confectionary each week, but only $5.90 on fresh fruit.

The report also shows that last year fast-food chains, restaurants and cafes spent more than $67 million on advertising, compared to the $6.2 million spent on advertising fruit and vegetables.

"There is growing awareness that improving the nutrition of New Zealand families is one of our most pressing public health challenges," Pete Hodgson said. "This report underlines the urgency surrounding that task, but also shows how difficult it will be to make significant improvements.

"It's clear that recent decades have seen significant changes in the types of foods that New Zealanders eat, the sources of that food and the advertising of it. While it’s a mistake to link these factors alone to the alarming increase in obesity in this country, there can be no doubt that dramatic changes in diet need to be secured if we are to have any success in fighting the obesity epidemic."

Last month, Prime Minister Helen Clark launched Mission-On – a package of initiatives to encourage and support young people to improve their nutrition and rates of physical activity. Mission-On includes initiatives to improve the quality of food served in schools, reduce children's exposure to advertising of unhealthy food and a major social marketing campaign.

"A key element of Mission-On will see the Ministry of Health working with the Food Industry Group and advertisers on ways to curb advertising of unhealthy food to children. New Zealand's food industry has demonstrated a real commitment to improving the health of New Zealand families, but it's clear that more progress is needed."

The Food and Nutrition Monitoring Report 2006 was prepared by Public Health Intelligence at the Ministry of Health.

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This page contains a single entry by ID Admin published on October 24, 2006 1:21 PM.

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