I predict NZ obesity rates will bankrupt the country within 20 years

Just 15% of people being well cannot pay for 85% of the healthcare costs…

“Waiting for a cure is not possible.  The public health system will be crushed by the obesity crisis and the rise in cancer, heart disease and diabetes.  We have also failed to get anywhere with front of pack labelling, or with food reformulation, because of huge resistance from the industry to anything that might improve our health.  Only now are people starting to realise there are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a can of coke”
Rob Moodie, professor of public health, University of Melbourne, May 2014.

“It has to begin with public health approaches to reduce the total calorific intake of New Zealanders, alongside approaches to increase physical activity.  The former would require governmental policy change and specific interventions, such as reducing the price disparity between nutritious healthy foods and energy dense nutrition-poor unhealthy food”

In my opinion the intervention required to reverse the increasing obesity rates is not straightforward and certainly will be multifactorial, requiring strategic co-ordination by government.  He notes that the food industry would also need to be engaged in this.  This is generally a politically unpopular approach and would need to be coincidental with increasing public education and awareness of the biological causes of obesity. Increasing physical activity would be need to be multi-sectorial — local and central government, workplaces, schools”

“Alongside the approaches above it is my opinion that research efforts in New Zealand should be stepped up to focus on the biological drivers of obesity, particularly in Maori and Pacific people, with strong public dissemination strategies.  This research is required in order to change ingrained societal attitudes to the obese.  Obesity is widely perceived to be the fault of the individual, who lacks the will to be lean.  Contrary to this view, however, overseas research has shown that obesity is a heritable neurobehavioral condition sensitive to environmental conditions.  The obesogenic environment increases the average weight.  Wider public understanding of these biological causes should swing the public opinion pendulum on obesity from antipathy to sympathy, necessary for any successful governmental and other interventions to address obesity”
Associate Professor Tony Merriman, biochemistry department, Otago University, May 2014.

Study “Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013,” as conducted by an international consortium of researchers led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, as published in The Lancet on May 29, 2014.  As reported by stuff.co.nz, The Sydney Morning Herald and livenews.com on May 29, 2014.



Posted: Wednesday 4 June 2014