Experts call for action to fill gaps on healthy food policies New Zealand needs major improvements in food policies if it is going to seriously tackle the country’s obesity epidemic, according to findings in the University of Auckland’s third Healthy Food Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI) published on 22 July 2020.
The level of implementation of the indicators has not changed since 2017 (40 indicators unchanged, 6 worse, 1 better) showing that New Zealand has not increased its performance compared with international best practice.
The Government is strongly urged to act on the top recommendations in the four key areas outlined in the report to improve the diets of New Zealanders, especially children, and reduce the rising health care costs from obesity and diet-related NCDs. The Expert Panel recommended 39 actions, prioritising 13 for immediate action. There needs to be clear leadership including the development of of a multi-sectoral Food Systems and Nutrition strategy.