Obesity in both children and adults is a national concern. The rise in obesity world-wide is a complex phenomenon: sedentary activity (unprecedented screen-time), declining levels of physical activity, shifting trends in leisure pursuits, changing dietary habits and changing cultural norms are all part of the picture. Add to this excessive energy intake (fast foods, alcohol, added sugar in processed foods and other ‘treat’ or ‘indulgence’ options -including sugar-sweetened beverages) and we suddenly have the third fattest nation in the OECD.

Food and drink manufacturers including members of the New Zealand Beverage Council have recognised these issues, and are responding by developing a growing range of reformulated products that meet the Health Star Rating, including low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar and sugar-free options as well as making available a range of portion sizes. NZBC members are committed to displaying kilojoule information on the front of labels and restricting direct sales of full sugar soft drinks in schools.

Since April 2012, kilojoules in regular soft drinks have been cut by 7.3 per cent and sugar reduced by 8.3 per cent.

Some manufacturers – including NZBC members – also deliver in-school programmes that provide excellent teacher and student resources around exercise and nutrition:

Be Healthy, Be Active programme funded by Nestlé which teaches year 7 and year 8 students about good diets and the importance of physical activity;

Nestlé Cook for Life programme that provides hands-on experience for students about balanced diets and cooking good meals.

Coca Cola ‘Move 60’ project which aims to get 100,000 teens into more physical activity.

With the right education, we believe that sensible, occasional consumption of foods and beverages containing sugar, fat and salt can have a place for both children and adults in a balanced and active lifestyle.

NZ Beverage Council infographic: A Look Inside NZ Fridges  (pdf)

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