Source: New Zealand Government, 20 October 2016
This week marks one year on since the launch of the Childhood
Obesity Plan, and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says good
progress is being made.
"Obesity is a serious issue threatening the health of young New
Zealanders,which means some of our kids could end up living shorter
lives than their parents," says Dr Coleman.
"In 2014/15 11 per cent of all children aged 2-14 years were
obese. The figures for Maori and Pacific children were 15 per cent
and 30 per cent respectively.
"The Childhood Obesity Plan includes improved public information
and resources; initiatives aimed at increasing physical activity
and making health food choices, actions for the health sector, as
well as the food and beverage industry.
"At the core of the Plan is the new Raising Healthy Kids health
target which was introduced on 1 July 2016. The aim is to have 95
per cent of children identified as obese in the B4 School Check
referred to an appropriate health professional for family based
nutrition, activity and lifestyle interventions.
"Another important component of the comprehensive Plan is the
Advertising Standards Authority's review of the Children's Codes
which has been released today.
"The major code change is an explicit restriction on advertising
occasional food and beverage products to children. The changes also
include a special care for young people aged 14 to 18 years, which
was previously included in the Code for Advertising Food to
"The Plan also signalled our intention to work with industry in
addressing this issue.
"Today food and beverage industry groups committed to developing
solutions to reduce childhood obesity through an industry wide
pledge. Some have also made specific pledges to make reformulation,
advertising and labelling changes.
"I welcome the pledges which has been developed by the Ministry
of Health and the sector. Industry will report back on their
progress in a year's time.
"Although there is no single solution that will fix obesity,
good progress is being made. There is always more that can be done
and this issue remains a priority for the Government."
Further achievements to date:
• The Education Review Office is finalising a report on the
current status of food, nutrition and physicalactivity in schools
and early learning services.
• We know children in the most deprived areas are three times as
likely to be obese. The Plan includesa target of signing up 150 new
decile 1 - 4 primary schools to the Health Promoting
Schoolsprogramme over two years. To date, 219 new decile 1-4
primary and intermediate schools havesigned up, 46 per cent above
• The Ministries of Education and Health are working together to
encourage schools to become water and milk only.
• Sport New Zealand's Play.Sport initiative is being piloted by
34 schools in Upper Hutt and Waitakere.
• Healthy Families NZ is operating in ten locations across the
• The Ministry of Health has released new guidelines for eating
and activity for adults, guidance forhealthy weight gain in
pregnancy and guidance on gestational diabetes to support health
professionalsand the public to make healthier choices.
• All DHBs have become sugar-sweetened beverage free and are
working toward implementingHealthy Food and Drink Policies.
- The Health Star Rating continues to expand and is now on more
than 2,000 products.
Further information on the Childhood Obesity Plan is
available here and more information on the industry
pledge is available here. A copy of the Advertising Standards
Authority's review is available here.