Latest data proves the Government's hands-off approach to obesity, and refusal to limit the junkfood industry's influence, has had devastating impacts on childrens' health, the Green Party says.
The Ministry of Health's annual health survey, quietly released this afternoon, found one in nine children aged two to 14 were obese and adult obesity rates had massively increased over the past three to four years.
"This is the latest in an ever increasing pool of proof that the Government's kowtowing to the junkfood industry is putting the lives and the health of Kiwi kids at risk," Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says.
"All the evidence points to the need for restrictions on junkfood availability and advertising, and till the Government stops backing the junkfood industry over the health of Kiwi kids, the obesity epidemic will get worse.
"These results are proof that the Governments' recent obesity action plan will not work, because it focuses on individual responsibility and exercise, rather than the food regulations that all the experts say are needed.
"The National Government is beholden to the junkfood industry in the same way it is beholden to the alcohol lobby and big gambling businesses like SkyCity.
"If it cared about the health of kids, the Government would reintroduce the food in schools guidelines it scrapped in 2009, while also placing a tax on fizzy drinks to reduce consumption with all revenue put into obesity prevention and other health programmes," Mrs Turei said