Anti-sugar troughers told to get back in their box

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Over the weekend Health Minister Jonathan Coleman ensured common sense prevailed.

Despite the noise of the taxpayer-funded troughers, who like nothing more than whipping off overseas to grandiose conferences where they talk to each other saying how disappointed they are that kids are getting fatter, Coleman has rebuffed their advocacy lobbying.

Tackling obesity tops the Government’s priority list – but it says punishing sugar lovers with a tax is not the answer.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said on Sunday there was no evidence a sugar tax worked and further regulation was not the answer to New Zealand’s obesity problem. He conceded, however, that action was needed on the way sugar-loaded products were marketed to consumers but the Government believed voluntary action by the food industry was the answer.

In comments that will send the $16 million troughers like Boyd Swinburn, Stefanie Vandevijvere, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Helen Eyles, Wilma Waterlander, Louise Signal and their front group the Agencies for Nutrition Action incandescent with rage, Coleman said:

But the Government’s major focus was on exercise, portion control and the diets of pregnant women. The Prime Minister’s chief science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman was at the forefront of some of that work.

“All my discussions with Sir Peter have been around the intervention around the perinatal period (the period immediately before and after birth) … and that’s what the medical evidence is starting to show is very important. That and exercise and education,” Coleman said.

“Not this fixation with advertising and sugar taxes.”

Oh dear, the Minister is working with Sir Peter Gluckman. That will have their knickers in a right twist.

On the issue of sugar tax, Coleman kicks the troughers into touch saying:

“If you look at the evidence for sugar tax, it shows actually it’s very low in terms of disability-adjusted life years lost. So that’s basically saying that, look, there’s no evidence that it’s going to end up with people living longer, healthier lives. What there is evidence for is actually eating less and exercising more, so I’m focusing my efforts on education, getting people to actually live more healthy, active lifestyles.

Sugar taxes get a lot of attention. No evidence that it works.”

These we-know-best troughers should actually start answering the question: Where has the $16 million they’ve tucked into actually gone?

But more importantly these troughers will continue to fight for “their” solutions and continued funding, and they will just bide their time waiting for a resurgent Labour party to entertain their every whim and fancy.

 

– Fairfax


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