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Anti-obesity strategy could be world leading – let’s not lose momentum

Anti-obesity strategy could be world leading – let’s not lose momentum

New Zealand has an opportunity to be a world leader when it comes to tackling obesity. The release last week of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s new Clinical Trials Network shows that the anti-obesity strategy announced by the Prime Minister in December is gaining traction.

The news comes as the government is also finalising a package of obesity-prevention measures, which is expected to be announced later this month. This is an opportunity for New Zealand to put itself at the forefront of global efforts to combat obesity.

However, there is a risk that the momentum behind this potentially world-leading strategy could be lost. The government needs to move quickly to implement the measures that have been announced, and to ensure that they are adequately funded.

Obesity is a major health problem, and one that is getting worse. In New Zealand, nearly one in three adults is obese, and the rate is rising. Obesity is associated with a range of serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.

The costs of obesity are also high. In New Zealand, obesity is estimated to cost the healthcare system $818 million each year.

The release of the new Clinical Trials Network is a significant step forward in the fight against obesity. This network will be responsible for coordinate clinical trials of new obesity treatments, and will help to ensure that new treatments are available to patients as quickly as possible.

The government’s anti-obesity strategy also includes a number of other measures, such as the development of a national child obesity surveillance system, and the introduction of a sugar tax.

These are all welcome steps, but they need to be implemented quickly and effectively if they are to make a difference.

The government has also committed to developing a national obesity plan. This is an important initiative, but it is crucial that the plan is well-funded and properly implemented.

There is a risk that the government’s obesity strategy could be derailed by a lack of political will, or by insufficient funding. It is essential that the government sticks to its commitment to tackling obesity, and that it provides the resources that are needed to make a difference.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of obesity in the OECD, and the costs – both to individuals and the country – are significant. But there is hope. Our government has just released a draft anti-obesity strategy, which proposes a number of initiatives to reduce the prevalence of obesity.

If implemented effectively, this strategy could make New Zealand a world-leader in the fight against obesity. But we cannot afford to lose momentum. We need to put pressure on our politicians to make sure this strategy is given the attention and funding it deserves.

Obesity is a major problem in New Zealand. One in three adults and one in nine children are obese. This puts us in the top 10 OECD countries for obesity. The costs of obesity are estimated to be $8 billion a year, or 5.3% of our GDP. This includes the direct costs of health care and the indirect costs of lost productivity.

Obesity is a major risk factor for a number of serious conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. It also has a significant impact on mental health.

The government’s draft anti-obesity strategy outlines a number of initiatives to reduce the prevalence of obesity. These include:

-Making healthy food more affordable
-Improving food labeling
-Increasing access to healthy food in schools and workplaces
-Encouraging more physical activity
-Restricting the marketing of unhealthy food to children

If implemented effectively, these initiatives could make a significant difference. But we need to maintain the momentum and keep up the pressure on our politicians to make sure this strategy is given the attention and funding it deserves.

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