he Soil & Health Association commends the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) for their policy briefing ‘Tackling Obesity’.* Obesity is a major public health issue in New Zealand. It is making people sick and unhappy, and putting a strain on our health system.
“Diet is a major part of the problem. We need to educate children and adults, and promote healthy food choices in a range of ways,” says Marion Thomson, co-chair of Soil & Health.
“Soil & Health promotes whole, unprocessed organic food, and home gardening. Through our magazine Organic NZ we educate people about healthy food, and are helping to establish organic gardens in schools around New Zealand.”
Soil & Health agrees with the NZMA’s recommendations, in particular an easy-to-understand ‘traffic light’ food labelling system, nutrition education in schools, and legislation or regulation to restrict the advertising and marketing of unhealthy food to children.
“We would also like to see healthy food in schools, including a ban on fizzy drinks, whether sugary or diet drinks – neither of these is a healthy option,” says Thomson.
The Association agrees with the NZMA that tackling obesity is the collective responsibility of all of society, and has for over 70 years been promoting healthy food and farming. Its motto ‘Healthy soil, healthy food, healthy people’ is as relevant today as ever.
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