Plain packaging coming for McDonalds?
The health troughers are at it again…banging on about obesity and making up numbers to support even more coin pouring into their bloated wallets.
Apparently we are all being crushed by fatties.
Health experts say a lack of government vision and investment means the obesity epidemic is continuing to balloon out of control with no end in sight.
Middlemore Hospital intensive care specialist David Galler said much of his time was now spent dealing with preventable issues which stemmed from obesity. His job did not start out this way.
“There are lots of people walking around this nation and their size isn’t compatible with life. Some people are so big now that we can’t actually diagnose what’s wrong with them. We can only do so much, I can’t turn the world backwards and make a person who is 270kg, 100kg.”
According to the most recent New Zealand Health Survey, 1.2 million New Zealanders are now obese, more than was recorded in the 2012 report. This translates to three in 10 adults and one in nine children.
These rates are significantly higher in poorer areas. Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are classed as overweight. Galler blamed a lack of leadership and vision at a government level and said obesity was now a bigger health concern than smoking.
“We can keep on putting these things off but we need regulation from the government’s end. It’s an immensely expensive problem for us when we think about obesity being one of the major triggers of type 2 diabetes.”
Galler’s view is backed up by Auckland University professor Boyd Swinburn, who says there is no doubt New Zealand is getting increasingly fatter at an alarming rate.
“We spend $700m a year on obesity through diabetes and heart disease. It’s been going up since the 1980s. To be honest, not much has happened in the last few decades in the way of policy and in the last five or six years there has been very little done.”
Galler said the country was being sold short because of a lack of vision from politicians. “New Zealand kids are fatter than any European kids, we are way behind the United States and Australia.
“For politicians there is no promise of immediate gain. Health spending is going through the roof and there are all sorts of reasons for that … the management of chronic disease is a major factor. It’s our fear of preventing the preventable. We need a much more sophisticated system to prevent disease and keep people well.”
The Morgan Foundation states a 20 per cent tax on soft drinks could save 67 lives per year. The money raised could be used to promote healthy eating and awareness campaigns. The foundation said the government had rejected this plan even though costs to the health system from obesity were pushing $700m.
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