Stefanie Vandevijvere

Candy, soda and fast food are not driving the rising obesity trend in the US

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Well here’s a headline obesity troughers wouldn’t want you to see, but it’s the latest research findings from Cornell University.

Remember here in NZ, well known obesity troughers like Professor Boyd Swinburn, Stefanie Vandevijvere, $11 million dollar woman Cliona Ni Mhurchu and those anti fizzy drink activists FIZZ all believe sugar taxes are the answer to Kiwi kids getting fatter.   Read more »

Anti-Sugar troughers want to ban the use of professional athletes

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4,018 words and not one mention of exercise.

In a paper with the tainted titled ‘Young adults: beloved by food and drink marketers and forgotten by public health?’ you only had to read the names of a couple of the authors to know where they were heading.

One is Becky Freeman, previously the director of taxpayer funded ASH New Zealand another is NZ’s academic trougher and pro tax lobbyist Stefanie Vandevijvere.

What is becoming abundantly clear with the release of yet another academic moan about obesity, is that the only solution these troughers are lobbying for are bans and restrictions.

So, to save you from reading the whole paper, here’s some excerpts showing how these academic activists really want to control your life:

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Coke’s latest PR move against obesity outrages troughers

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Video Link – http://www.sharewik.com/portfolio-items/the-global-energy-balance-getting-the-word-out/

If there’s one thing that fires up public health activists it’s when companies they target launch initiatives that seek to address concerns about their products.

The tobacco industry failed miserably in this and lost the war against anti-tobacco activists and their academic troughing mates.

But with tobacco now old news, the activists needed to find a new enemy and something to use the same anti-tobacco tactics against – things like tax increases, marketing restrictions, sponsorship bans and health warnings, to name just a few.

With obesity concerns increasing, sugar quickly has became the no.1 enemy.   Read more »

Anti-sugar troughers resort to push polling

Most people take any sort of Horizon Research poll with a massive grain of salt.

So much so it’s safe to say that if you ever want research or a poll to give you exactly what you want it to say, you go to Horizon Research.

And that would therefore explain why anti-sugar trougher Professor Boyd Swinburn used Horizon Research to pimp out findings from a ‘survey’ to the Herald’s Martin Johnston under the emotive heading ‘we need to protect kids from junk food ads’.

As always the Herald is alarming and suggests the Government isn’t doing enough to stop kids getting fatter.

Ever since Health Minister Jonathan Coleman told the troughers to get knotted over their fat tax ideas, trougher Boyd Swinburn and his research cohorts have been pimping out ‘research’ after ‘research’ after ‘research’ trying to say they’re right and the Government is wrong.

Boyd Swinburn’s front group #ProtectOurKidsNZ clearly outlines their government relations strategy.

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So let’s have a look at the type of Horizon Research questions signed off by Auckland University Professor Boyd Swinburn and used to attack the Government

  1. Would you be in favour or against the Government introducing stronger restrictions to reduce the amount of unhealthy food and drink advertising and promotion to children?
  1. Do you think the government should not regulate, should restrict, or should stop …using advertising on TV to market unhealthy foods and drinks to children?
  1. Do you think the government should not regulate, should restrict or should stop … featuring unhealthy food and drink brands in games and competitions on websites aimed at children?
  1. Do you think the government should not regulate, should restrict or should stop … sponsoring children’s sporting activities?

What’s even more telling is how Professor Boyd Swinburn is trying to say parents have no say over what their kids eat.  Here’s what he says about the research findings.

“This is finding is not surprising,” says Professor Swinburn. “Parents do not like having to say ‘no’ to their children all the time. The pester power that the marketing to children creates really undermines parents’ efforts to give their children a healthy diet.”

Not surprising? Really, come on.

And parents are obviously so useless that they are unable to say no to kids, so the only way to resolve that is to have Government introduce bans and taxes.

Maybe Professor Boyd Swinburn would like to start telling New Zealanders and the Government where the $16 million they’ve received has gone?

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Or maybe Professor Boyd Swinburn would like to explain what has happened to the more than $317 million doled out by the Ministry of Health on obesity service providers over the past ten years has gone?

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But that would be all too inconvenient.

 

– Martin Johnston, A Newspaper

Nanny state troughers want more bans, restrictions and taxes on what you eat

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This week we have seen a flurry of articles in MSM bleating on that the Government is not doing enough to counter the “obesity epidemic”.

The noise is due to Health Minister Jonathan Coleman kicking the idea of a sugar tax into touch. The troughers are outraged a key plank of their lobbying has been rejected by Government.

No surprises who is driving this.

It’s Trougher of the Year Professor Boyd Swinburn and his travelling side-kick Senior Research Fellow Stefanie Vandevijvere. Must be a funding round somewhere.

A lot of the noise is repeated in the anonymous Facebook/Twitter group called ‘Protect Our Kids NZ’. Coincidentally  this group repeats the exact lines that Boyd Swinburn and Stefanie Vandevijvere bleat on about, yet they don’t have the guts to put their names to it.

Chaos & Mayhem member Carrick Graham is never shy to enter battle with troughers, lobbying the question: what they have actually delivered for the more than $16 million they’ve received from the taxpayer? It’s a very good question.

He recently caught them out running a #DirtyPolitics campaign against him, me and former HPA board member Katherine Rich, through taxpayer funded group Agencies for Nutrition Action.

It’s a front group being run by the troughers – the very thing they accuse Big Business of doing. This one is called ‘Protect Our Kids NZ’.   Read more »

Ahhhhhhh, there’s too much food!

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Shock horror, the troughers have discovered, researched, come up with the novel fact that food production has increased since 1971.

Auckland University’s trougher, and Boyd Swinburn off-sider Dr Stefanie Vandevijvere, ‘new research’ says; Read more »

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.

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EXPOSED: Ministry of Health funded group running #dirtypolitics

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State-funded group Agencies for Nutrition Action can now be exposed for running a campaign straight from the playbook of dirtypolitics.

Under the guise of reducing childhood obesity under the banner of #protectourkidsnz this trougher group has pulled together “a group of motivated people” a group of other troughers to lobby for:

  1. Healthy food polices in all schools and early childhood services (‘getting the tuckshop to match the classroom teaching’)
  2. Restrictions on junk food marketing to kids (‘it is unethical to allow junk food ads targeting kids in the middle of a childhood obesity epidemic’)
  3. Taxes on sugary drinks (‘to reduce consumption and provide funding for childhood obesity prevention programs’)

Some would say if that is what it takes to reduce obesity in kids, then that’s a good thing.

But that’s not the point.

It’s their covert lobbying strategy specifically designed to put heat on the Government and their paymasters at the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council which will be their undoing.

Let’s break this down and see what they’re really pushing for: Read more »

More pimping of #dirtypolitics

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Shaun Hendy writes today on stuff.co.nz saying Dirty Politics damages science.

While it’s a bit of a whaa whaaa whaaaa piece, it did make me wonder who Shaun Hendy is, particularly seeing that he’s now an expert in dirty politics and seems happy to enter the fray.

So for our WOBH readers, here’s a bit on who Shaun Hendy is.

Sean is a researcher with the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and nanotechnology at The University of Auckland. He’s a smart cookie and has done well. Good for him.

He also blogs at Sciblogs where he attracts a monthly audience of more than 1000 readers, many of them policy makers in NZ’s innovation sector.  It’s here that he starts crossing over from being a theoretical physicist and expert in nanotechnology, to playing in the political environment.

In his post ‘Scientists need to hold policy-makers to account’ he pimps Nicky Hager’s stolen emails, and clearly is very supportive of a bunch of troughers who don’t like the Health Promotion Agency having industry representative Katherine Rich on its board.   Read more »

Super Trougher Extraodinaire

Only occasionally does a trougher become extraordinaire. They have to demonstrate uncommon, no, remarkable troughing abilities. Even Maori trougher Shane Kawenata Bradbrook’s more recent attempts to hoe into Whanau Ora funding are no match.

Trougher of the Year nominee Boyd Swinburn

Trougher of the Year nominee Boyd Swinburn

Boyd Swinburn was clearly in the lead for Trougher of the Year after his junket to the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, on the shores of Lake Como, Bellagio, Italy. Few could match this level of troughing.

But then this came in via the tipline. Even I had to take stock. I can now understand why he’s smiling so much.

Not only has Boyd Swinburn enjoyed the delights of Bellagio and New York this year, he also jetted off in September to yet another international conference on nutrition, this time in Granada (Spain).

He even took his research fellow Stefanie Vandevijvere, who from her twitter feed clearly is trying to get into Boyd’s golden trough. How nice. Boyd Swinburn’s obviously cottoned on to the notion that it’s occasionally a good idea to throw a bone to the troops, otherwise they get all upset and start feeding the tipline.   Read more »