Topic: Health

Govt asked to help New Zealanders be healthier

By Kayne Ngātokowhā Peters

New Zealand’s top personal trainer is calling on the Government to get school children fitter and live healthier.

Corrine Austin of Northland won personal trainer of the year at the 2017 Exercise NZ Awards.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Austin says the Government needs to focus on the environments and precise factors in raising healthier children.

“Essentially this is a community and societal problem and until we all understand all the factors that affect health and weight maintenance then it’s going to be difficult to change.

“The most influential factor that we can begin on is eating real food as close to the source as possible, including as much colour as possible, maximising vegetable intake, drinking water as our dominant beverage choice, good lean cuts of meat, fish and being open to eating good sources of healthy fat too,” she says.

One in eight New Zealand children (aged 2-14) are obese and 18% of them are Māori.

Austin is also asking the Government to introduce a national regulation standard for health and fitness professionals.

“This will lift the reputability of the qualified and educated health and fitness professionals who currently have to work beside cowboys who have completed less than adequate if any qualifications to practice in an arena where we are dealing with the health and lives of other New Zealanders,” says Austin.

“We have hundreds of fitness professionals dealing with people’s bodies and people’s lives and potentially putting people at unknown risk and the industry is not regulated by the government.”

One in three New Zealand adults (aged over 15) are obese and 50% of them are Māori.

For any help call Healthline on 0800 611 116 to speak with a registered nurse.