In a move to help reduce the incidence of obesity, the Ministry of Health has directed all District Health Board premises across Aotearoa to show a commitment to limit sugary drinks, effective in the past 24 hours.
In the directive the MoH said it acknowledged, “the focus that DHBs were putting on the development of approaches to address obesity,” and expected this effort to be further enhanced in coming months when the next steps for the sector will be outlined, with particular focus on childhood obesity.
University of Auckland researcher, Dr Gerhard Sundborn who also heads public health advocacy group, FIZZ, says he welcomes the initiative.
He says, “FIZZ congratulates Minister Jonathan Coleman and Director General, Ministry of Health Chai Chuah, for the directive that has banned the sale of all sugary drinks from all hospitals and DHB premises.”
“Considering the harm that sugary drinks pose in their contribution to rotten teeth, diabetes and obesity this action will have strong population health benefits, particularly for our children,” Sundborn says.
A symposium that will look specifically at sugary drinks and health will be held by the University of Auckland (and supported by Otago University and Manukau Institute of Technology) next Wednesday 7 October in Manukau.
A focal point of the symposium will look at the development and consideration of a number of tax options on sugary drinks.