Wilma Waterlander

Dodgy petition secretly changed

Carrick Graham outlines how the organisers of an anti-sugar petition have quietly changed the wording of their petition after being busted for lying.

Late yesterday, the organisers of a sugar petition suddenly changed the wording of their online ‘Petition for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages’ at change.org.

This followed criticism on multiple blogs, including Kiwiblog, which called it ‘A misleading petition’.

The sugar tax petition said that “New Zealand has a problem. We are the third fattest nation in the world”. This is not true, and Kiwiblog provided reference to the WHO database for obesity by country that showed New Zealand ranked 29th, not third as claimed by the petition organisers.

Now some would say that changing the wording of the petition to be factually correct is a good thing. Perhaps, but one would have thought that an explanation would be required to the 4,000 odd people that signed this online petition about why the sudden change of wording was needed.

As a result of this change, you have a situation where the petition organisers have been misleading the signatories about the New Zealand’s place in worldwide obesity rankings.

Simply put, changing the wording of a petition three-quarters of the way through – after being found to be inaccurate – reeks of ‘oh well never mind, it’s all right, it doesn’t really matter’.

But it isn’t right. And it does matter.

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Otago Uni public health ‘expert’ blog gets it wrong

So much for the University of Otago’s positioning as so-called public health experts.

On Tuesday they raced out a blog post trying to shame Health Minister Jonathan Coleman into supporting a sugar tax on fizzy drinks here in NZ.

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It’s written by the usual anti-sugar troughers. Lets’ remind ourselves who some of them are.

Dr Wilma Waterlander is obviously the lead author. She and Dr Helen Eyles had a lovely time recently at the 5-star Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh with its exciting social programme.

Prof Nick Wilson is a well-known trougher from the Otago University’s Wellington Department of Public Health Troughers, who last year was exposed by the Taxpayers’ Union over his misleading claims over a salt tax.

Then there’s 11-million-dollar woman Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu, well known for calling for a 20% tax on fat, salt, dairy, meat etc.

But hang on a minute, what’s this? Looks like they’ve been caught out botching their references.   Read more »

EXPOSED: University of Auckland pimps junk science

It’s never a good look when a university gets exposed for releasing junk science.

Usually it’s Otago University’s Department of Arse Clowns pimping out wild claims in an effort to generate media coverage.

But with competition for funding troughing red-hot among New Zealand university institutions, it now seems certain University of Auckland researchers are tapping into the pit of junk science to get some headlines.

Back in July, the University of Auckland released a study with the alarming headline ‘Majority of our packaged food unhealthy’. The authors include Dr Wilma Waterlander, Helen Eyles and $11 million trougher recipient Cliona Ni Mhurchu from the University of Auckland’s National Institute for Health Innovation, School of Population Health.

Now we find out the paper has significant flaws in it.  The Food & Grocery Council has exposed their research as nothing short of being junk science.    Read more »

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

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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Another trougher overseas conference holiday on the taxpayer

Yesterday we exposed the uselessness of two old troughing fools who think research is needed via Google Street View to see if they can see smokefree signs outside hospitals.

Today we further expose why troughers can’t see the wood from the trees – the ongoing lure of international junkets to far-away locations.

It would seem Super Trougher Extraodinaire Professor Boyd Swinburn is having an off year because he’s missing out on yet another free trip paid for by taxpayers, this time to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Now its troughers from Dr Wilma Waterlander and Dr Helen Eyles who have both managed to tuck the National Heart Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Group out of travel grants to attend the June ‘Annual Meeting of the International Society for Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity’ trougher fest.   Read more »