Beverage industry supports plan to cut obesity

New Zealand Beverage Council members are broadly supportive of a wide-ranging plan unveiled by the Ministry of Health today to reduce childhood obesity levels in New Zealand.

“The Ministry has clearly recognised that there is no single solution that will fix the obesity issue plaguing societies across the globe,” said NZBC President Olly Munro.

The rise in obesity worldwide is a complex phenomenon which evidence-based research shows has a plethora of causes, including declining levels of physical activity, shifting trends in preferred leisure pursuits, excessive calorie intake from a wide variety of sources, changing dietary habits and changing cultural norms.

“Our members have long recognised that they have a role to play in addressing the complex obesity issue,” Mr Munro said.

“They have taken, and will continue to take, significant action through innovation, reformulation and other initiatives to adapt to the changing lifestyles of New Zealanders. Whether by providing more informative nutritional information, portion control and treat packs, or the introduction of additional low and no energy drinks, Council members are working consistently to provide products that allow consumers to make choices that are right for them and their families.”

Mr Munro said these initiatives all fitted well with the 22-point plan announced by the government today.

The NZ Beverage Council

The NZBC represents the manufacturers of New Zealand’s juice, carbonated drink and bottled water brands, and their suppliers. The NZBC acts:

• as a forum to discuss issues of concern and interest to the industry
• as a self-regulator ensuring product adherence to all relevant codes and statutes
• as a provider of technical assistance to members
• as an advocate for consumer education on health and nutrition issues.

Currently, the NZBC membership represents around 95 percent of all juice and non-alcoholic beverages sold at a retail level.

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