Govt failing to address long-term public health disaster

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the growing chorus of health experts who are calling for immediate action on obesity-related disease, the Green Party said today.

Seventy leading public health specialists have asked the Government to implement a tax on sugary drinks to tackle New Zealand's high rates of childhood obesity – amongst the highest in the world according to a recent Lancet report.  
 
“The Government has it wrong when it comes to fighting childhood obesity and needs to start listening to the experts,” said Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague.
 
“One-in-four Kiwis over 15 have diabetic or pre-diabetic symptoms and the National Government is failing to offer effective solutions to prevent this from becoming a major public health disaster.

“The health bill alone for treating preventable diabetes will be over $2 billion by 2021.

“An urgent and wide-ranging response is required, rather than the Government’s weak wait-and see approach.

“Diabetes will swamp us while National wait for a so-called perfect solution to this major public health issue.

“We have strong evidence already that taxing sugary drinks is an effective way to limit its consumption.

“It’s time to start treating the disease of diabetes like smoking-related cancers and use targeted taxes to reduce consumption and pay for the damage sugary drinks are doing to the health of our children,” said Mr Hague.

 

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

New Zealand’s housing market is becoming increasingly divided between people who own their own homes and those forced to rent for life...
Take Action

Latest Health Announcements

Story

Strengthening New Zealand’s Immunisation System

Hundreds of thousands of young adults will be offered measles vaccinations in a new campaign to strengthen New Zealand’s immunisation system, Assoc...
Read More

Story

Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers

Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissio...
Read More

Story

Surgical mesh restorative justice report received

Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria Un...
Read More

Story

Contraception important for New Zealanders

Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Governme...
Read More

Story

More vaccines for meningococcal disease

The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year.
Read More

Story

New research links poor housing to hospital admissions

A research paper conducted by the University of Otago that was published today has shown a strong link between damp, mouldy housing and hospital ad...
Read More