Govt should side with Kiwi kids and ban junk-food vending machines

The Green Party is calling on the Government to immediately ban junk-food vending machines from our schools, to help stop more Kiwi kids from becoming obese.

The call comes after TV3’s Story revealed that sugar-filled Sanitarium drinks are being sold from school vending machines, with schools receiving financial kickbacks from the sales.

“The Government recently announced its plan to tackle obesity and it has already proved to be utterly toothless,” said Green Party Health spokesperson Kevin Hague.

“Voluntary measures don’t work – the first step in attacking our obesity problem should be to ban multimillion-dollar food corporations, like Sanitarium, from selling junk food and sugary drinks to our kids in our schools.

“These food companies are getting rich off our obesity problem, and they’ll continue to do so until the Government stops siding with them and starts siding with children.

“Ultimately taxpayers are going to foot the bill for National’s do-nothing approach.

“Our health system is already going into overdrive to treat people suffering from obesity-related illness, like type-2 diabetes and heart disease, and it’s going to have to continue to do so for many years to come if National doesn’t act.

“Healthy eating guidelines, like the ones announced by Sam Lotu-Iiga yesterday, are not enough.

“We need real Government action and intervention, otherwise junk-food peddlers are going to keep targeting our children.

“Schools should not have to rely on the proceeds of these vending machines for funding – that’s the Government’s job.

“The drinks being sold from these vending machines are incredibly unhealthy and so is the influence food corporations like Sanitarium have over our kids’ health and over the National Government,” said Mr Hague.