11 Jan 2012

Call for national strategy to tackle obesity

8:24 am on 11 January 2012

A leading obesity and diabetes researcher is predicting that without a national strategy on obesity, the health sector will be in dire shape within just a few years.

Professor Jim Mann from Otago University says while diabetes management is a national health target, there is no overarching programme to battle its cause - obesity.

He says one of the reasons for that is the short-term mentality of politicians.

"Doing something about reducing the risk of obesity and its consequences is not something that anybody is going to see in a single electoral cycle."

Professor Mann says he would be willing to sacrifice long-held positions on things like taxes on unhealthy food and social marketing, to negotiate a national obesity strategy with the government.