Progress on Reducing Retail Availability of Sugary Drinks in NZ

Monday, May 16th, 2016 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Rob Beaglehole, Prof Tony Blakely

water_vending_machine_bottle_washing_mode_with_ce_isoNew Zealand has made some progress in removing the sale of sugary drinks from hospitals and schools. In this blog we look at such successes to date and consider what could be done to further reduce availability of these products which are both harming oral health and fuelling the obesity epidemic.

Continue reading

The UK Government Shows Leadership with a Soft Drink Tax Announcement

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 | Kate Sloane | 3 Comments

Dr Wilma Waterlander, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea McDonald, Dr Helen Eyles, Prof Tony Blakely

Sugar levy announcedA Conservative UK Government has announced a new soft drink tax with revenue recycling towards school-based physical activity programmes. In this blog we briefly look at the UK initiative and assess its possible utility for changing New Zealand’s obesogenic environment.

Continue reading

What the Pacific & Mexico can tell us about soft drink taxes and public health

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

Dr Andrea McDonald

Soft drinks blog picThere are many ways that taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) can be designed and implemented. These aspects can affect the likely impact on SSB consumption and health. This blog looks at a policy discussion document from the Pacific and explores some of the reasons SSB tax outcomes from Mexico appear to show positive reductions in SSB consumption.

Continue reading

Ireland leads New Zealand in the battle against obesity

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 2 Comments

Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu

Editor note: This blog was prepared by Prof Cliona Ni Mhurchu whilst she was visiting her home-country, Ireland. Cliona sent an email to myself and other Kiwis during that time outlining the strong actions that the Irish Government is planning on obesity and food – a far cry from the state of play in New Zealand. Which has led to this blog, in which Cliona makes the head-to-head comparison on food and obesity policy (in)activity between Ireland and New Zealand. Tony Blakely.

In the last couple of years the Irish rugby team gave the All Blacks cause to sit up and take notice not just once but twice. The first occasion was during the 2nd test match in 2012 where the ABs narrowly won with a drop kick minutes before the end, and the second was late last year in Dublin when the ABs won by a margin of just 2 points. Optimistic Irish rugby fans are increasingly convinced that the day will come when Ireland will beat New Zealand at its own game.

Continue reading

Action needed to halt New Zealand’s obesity epidemic: Themes from Big Food Symposium

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 1 Comment

Associate Professor Louise Signal

International and national public health experts and delegates met on Monday this week to consider how to address New Zealand’s (NZ’s) increasing obesity epidemic. While they welcome the new Healthy Families NZ community-based initiative recently announced by the Minister of Health, they stress the critical need to focus on upstream policies to prevent obesity as well. Evidence-based policy options identified include: banning junk food marketing to children, introducing a tax on fizzy drinks, introducing easy to understand nutrition labels on foods, and ensuring families can afford to eat a healthy diet. Without supplementing community action with such upstream policy action, the experts at this Big Food Symposium believe obesity rates will stay high and possibly continue to climb. This blog explores some of these issues in more detail. Continue reading