Sports stars rally to fight obesity

  • Jonathan Coleman

Health Minister and Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman says a new high profile public awareness campaign starts today to encourage people to make healthy lifestyle changes to tackle obesity.

It is fronted by a number of sport stars, including Olympian Valerie Adams, Silver Fern captain Casey Kopua, All Black Israel Dagg, Black Cap skipper Brendon McCullum and Warriors star Shaun Johnson.

Big change starts small is the theme of the campaign which encourages people to start making small changes to have a long term and positive impact on our children’s health and wellbeing,” says Dr Coleman.

“The campaign is one of 22 initiatives in the Childhood Obesity Plan which was announced recently. New Zealand is one of the first OECD countries to have a target and a comprehensive plan to tackle childhood obesity.”

The public awareness campaign on food choice and inactivity will run for six weeks across a range of media and aims to get people talking about the impact our lifestyle choices have on children’s health. Families will be encouraged to make small changes to improve their diet and to be more active.

It is supported by a new website which offers affordable meal and activity ideas,

“Obesity is a serious issue and the idea of starting with small changes is one we can all get behind,” says Dr Coleman.

“There are some easy small changes we can make such as substituting unhealthy snacks with healthy snacks, rewarding kids with activities instead of food treats, and making water the first choice.”

For further information about the Childhood Obesity Plan visit the Ministry of Health website, here.